“TheCeļotājs” –
Saldus – a "Drop of Honey" in Courland

 
     
Saldus Sweet "Food" Factory – Milk Sweets “Gotiņa” 
Lielā iela 9a,
Lat: N56.6640503, Lon: E22.4904245
 
                
                                                                          Saldus Food Factory                                          Milk Candy Cooking Room - Milk is heated to 200ºC         Toffee blocks being prepared for wrapping and shipping      
 
"Saldus Food Factory, Ltd." mainly produces milk-candies "Gotiņa", Toffees, Sherbets, Marmalades and Creams of Candies, which all are made from natural ingredients. Milk-based candy "Gotiņa" is a fully natural product without any food additives. Each piece of candy is hand-wrapped. The company owns its firm's shops and unit for producing flour confectionary products where our customers can order various kinds of goods, produced in our company factories. Our customers can order cakes, bacon pies and other confectionary products for their parties in advance, and our bakers decorate any cake accordingly customer’s wishes. [Making of Candy and Milk-base Candy]
 
          
                                                                                                           Milk-base Candy being cut and hand wrapped                     Marmalades packaged and ready for shipping       
 
Our company has been producing milk-based candies "Gotiņa" in Saldus since 1960. Initially, we produced small quantities of candies and only for the local market. Latter, the assortment started to grow when various ingredients such as nuts, raisins, sunflower seeds, etc. were added to our candies.
 
                
                                                             Retail Store with its many different products                                        Décorated Cheese Cake                                      Milk-base Candy wrapped in Saldus Wrappers 
 
In order to successfully grow and remain competitive, we are developing new kind of products and new interesting forms of packing and wrapping designs. Our candies are wrapped and packed in original wrapping papers and cardboard and metal boxes, the designs of which are created by artists and can be given as a lovely present on special occasions or brought back by tourists as an original souvenir. Besides, we wrap our candies in wrapping paper on which is printed an original design or logo of our customers.
 
 
In 1990s, a great amount of our production was exported to Russia. Now we export our candies to Lithuania, Estonia, Germany, and on a small scale to Great Britain, the USA, Spain, the Netherlands, and Finland.
 
On regular bases, we participate in various food product exhibitions, contests and sales outside our fixed facilities and offer excursions in our production unit to those who are interested. For several years we have won awards in the exhibition "Made in Latvia" and among small-size food producers and our products were awarded the most capable products for export.
 
History
 
It is difficult to say who invented the recipe of the legendary milk candy “Gotiņa”. Many historical sources point to Skrīveri Food Factory – the first place where the production of milk candy was begun in 1957 after food production experts from Riga in cooperation with local producers after long-lasting experiments had developed the recipe and technology for the production of milk candy “Gotiņa”. However, before the Word War II there were many landladies who had studied at the famous Kaucminde Housekeeping seminar and had learned to make or "more precisely boil" milk-based candies, using a similar recipe. During the pre-war period, candies similar to “Gotiņa” were made in the famous Ķuze Factory and by Latvian Milk Producers’ Association.
 
In 1960, after there was received a permission from the Union of Cooperative Societies of the Latvian SSR, the production of “Gotiņa” was started in Saldus Food Factory. It is our factory that is regarded to be the oldest factory where “Gotiņa” is produced in Latvia, and its production has survived during hard times; besides the milk candy is still made on the old premises basing on the old principles and old recipe- fresh milk, natural ingredients and handwork. For a good reason several years in a row Saldus “Gotiņa” has got prizes in the contest “Made in Latvia”- a contest that recognizes Latvia’s most successful export products among small and medium sized businesses. 
 
A long-term employee Austra Nordena remembers, “From the very beginning we produced “Gotiņa” in a very small volume and only for the local market because at that time the company had several other branches- we produced lemonade, sausages, we baked bread and even had a fruit and vegetable shop. “Gotiņa” was boiled by two people in ordinary cooking pots on a wood-burning stove. In order to avoid scorching (burning) of the sweet mass, we had to stir it with stirrers. Later other branches one after another were closed down, and the production of “Gotiņa” became the main activity of the company.
 
“In former days the process was as follows- on the first day we prepared candy mass and on the second day we cut it in pieces and wrapped. Now we do it all in one day. Earlier the production process was much slower as we did not have such modern equipment (cooking pots and cooling tables) as we have now. Then we used invert sugar syrup that we made on our own from sugar, lactic acid and water.”
 
Latvian milk candy “Gotiņa” very soon became popular in Russia and other Soviet Republics therefore the number production units in Latvia grew, and soon “Gotiņa” was made in other factories. 
 
Every month several tens of tons of Saldus “Gotiņa” by rail were transported to various parts of the USSR. 
 
“Then we were not allowed to decide where to sell our production. Besides, we had to stick to the recipe and were not allowed to change anything in it,” continues Austra Nordena. But even in those days people could tell one “Gotiņa” from another because as we all know you can use the same recipe to make a dish, but its taste and quality will vary depending on the cook’s skill since each cook has its own nuts and bolts. For example, the recipe strictly prescribes what ingredients and in what sequence must be added, but it does not say that candy will not become sugared before time if the cooled mass is not lifted and stretched too much. And what is more, slightest nuances of its taste may be influenced by many factors, such as, what kind of fuel is used to boil the mass. 
 
The restoration of Latvia’s independence and following changes in the economic sector did not have a significant impact on the production of “Gotiņa” in Saldus. In 1990s, the same as in the Soviet times, we employed 120 people who worked in shifts "now there are 80 employees 50 of who work in production" and made up to 150 tons of candy per month that was sold in Russia.
 
Difficult times the factory experienced in the late 90s during the financial crises in Russia. Our cooperation with Russia ended, and the production volume started to decline rapidly. At that time we produced a small volume of “Gotiņa” for our local market only. 
 
In 2000, when export started to grow, our production volume and assortment started to grow.
 
Excursion
 
We offer excursions to those who are interested. You may explore our production process. Besides, we offer tasting of our products and shopping in our specialist shop. 
 
Length of one excursion is up to 1 hour. 
 
You can book your excursions over the phone: +371 63881440 or by sending an Email to: saldusgotina@inbox.lv 
 
Contacts
 
“Saldus Food Factory” Ltd.
Address: Lielā iela 9a, 
               Saldus, LV–3801
Phone Fax: +371 3881440
Board Member: Līga Grīsle
Mobile: +371 29262541
Phone: +371 63881440 
Sales and Marketing:  Agnese Patrašanu
Mobile: + 371 26674183
Our Data: SIA "Saldus pārtikas kombināts" 
                Lielā iela 9a, Saldus, Saldus nov., LV-3801 
                Reģ. Nr.: LV400030XXXXX 
                Banka: A/S " SEB Banka" 
                IBAN: LV53UNLA00150044XXXXX 
IBAN(EUR) LV94UNLA00150200XXXXX
 
 
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Revised: 07/19/2013 – 01:24:40