...or the history of the Sugar Factory in Plovdiv


The idea of opening a sugar factory in the country dates back to 1863 when Petko Slaveykov published it in his newspaper "Gaida". Years later, this position was renewed precisely in Plovdiv by Hristo G. Danov. The prominent revivalist and patriot, together with other public figures in 1895, founded the Zahar company with a capital of 2 million gold leva. However, despite the good intentions, the Zahar company didn‘t receive a concession for the construction of a sugar factory.

Only after 16 years of controversy - on March 25, 1911, it was announced that: "A sugar factory will be built in Plovdiv", and at the end of September of the same year, construction began.

On October 14, 1914, sugar production began in the city of Plovdiv with the first sugar extraction campaign, and hundreds of men and women began working in the factory.

Hard years of war followed. In 1925, the owners sold their shares to a Belgian-Italian company. It is said that the recipes for the chocolate couvertures of the confectionery, the production of which began a few years later, date back to that time.

After the end of the Second World War came a period of awakening and upsurge.

In 1947, nationalization followed, and "Cooperative Sugar Factory" passed into the hands of the state. In 1953, it was joined by Record State Industrial Enterprise - a factory for the production of sugar products, and thus the Vasil Kolarov Sugar Factory was founded, with the main activity of producing sugar and sugar products.

The first records of the production of sugar products in the newly joined company Record date back much longer. Before that, it was called Nimis Avdala and Sons Factory for Sugar Products, and in a report from 1942 it is written that "the enterprise has existed for 57 years, i.e. since 1885, and is engaged in the production of chocolate and sugar products, marmalades, biscuits, crackers, wafers, etc." The word enterprise then meant a much smaller production with mainly manual and typically artisanal work.

After the merger of the two plants, the rapid innovations and implementation of new facilities, relevant for their time in the production of sugar and chocolate products, began.

In 1956, a new production of cream wafers was organized at the sugar factory. The production of Maritsa waffles probably began at that time.

In 1958, the production of chocolates was also started. They were the ones who created the name and authority of the company and won a number of awards and medals. Some of the first produced chocolates were Trimontsium, Plovdiv, Mir, and Golden Thrace. Trimontium Chocolates brought the company the first, but not the last, gold medal received from the XIX International Plovdiv Fair.

In 1963, due to the high demand for biscuits on the market, the management improved the material base of this production and started production of biscuits in a new workshop with the most modern installation. At that time, ordinary and tea biscuits were already produced, but a different assortment was also created, among which was the Lux biscuit tin, for which it was awarded the Golden Hands award in 1969.

Lux Biscuits also received a gold medal at the confectionery exhibition in 1973 in Bratislava.

The production of Turkish delight and halva on the territory of the new company dates back to 1957.

Another important date in the traditional production of chocolates is November 11, 1971, when the first sod was made in the construction of a new workshop for the production of chocolate products. Modern machines were installed in the spacious production premises, and a source of pride was the modern production line "OKA - Zölich - Lösch" and new production lines especially for chocolates, with which a rich variety of different flavors was achieved. Some of them are still made today.

In this period, new recipes for chocolates bearing the names of parts of the Thracian treasure and ancient Greek goddesses were also developed. Of all of them, over time, the taste of Amphora chocolates has remained the most beloved. With the high degree of mechanization, machines replaced manual labor, but the love and craftsmanship put into production cannot be replaced by any machine. To this day, the original slightly cognac flavor of Amphora chocolates, the recipe of which has been kept secret for decades, has been preserved. For the next 6 years, 23 new assortments of chocolate products were being put into production, some of which you can still find in the portfolio.

During the first years of democracy, the company changed its status and its owners several times until 1996, when a joint-stock company was established, with the majority owner Valcho Arabadzhiev and a new management team.

In 1997, the company was renamed Crystal Sugar Factory, and this name is still known today, although in 2007 it was changed to Plovdiv Sugar Factory.

Despite the dropping of Crystal from the official name, the Crystal logo remains on the packaging of all sugar products produced in the factory.

Later in the years, the company was bought by Sugar Products - Varna, which acquired all trademarks and industrial designs of sugar and chocolate products under the Crystal brand and then exported the production from Plovdiv to its bases in Balchik and Tarnovo.