E. Wedel Chocolate in Poland

E. Wedel double heart tinsHow about a chocolate vacation? If someone organizes it, I’m all in. Think of it. Travel to top European countries, and sample the best chocolate each country has to offer. In Poland, that would be E. Wedel chocolate, the oldest and most famous chocolate in Poland. I confess I missed the Wedel chocolate lounges (they’re called lounges, not restaurants) in both Warsaw and Krakow. But I did manage to scoop up several boxes of Wedel chocolates at the airport prior to leaving Poland. They were some of the best souvenirs I brought back.

The First Wedel Shop Opened in 1851 in Warsaw

Interior Original Wedel Shop in Warsaw
The interior of the original Wedel shop at 8 Szpitalna Street in Warsaw. Photo by Adrian Grycuk, licensed through Creative Commons.

Karol Wedel, of Berlin, opened his first confectionery in Warsaw in 1851, offering drinking chocolates and a few other items like cough caramels and peppermint lozenges. The company grew, and in 1865, son Emil Wedel took over the business. Soon, counterfeiters were issuing copies of the popular chocolates. He announced that every chocolate would bear his hand-written signature. That signature remains the recognizable logo.

E. Wedel chocolate remained a progressive company, prior to WWII

The company expanded; grandson Jan Wedel took over in 1923, and again in 1931 expanded the factory. The socially progressive Wedel began to employ women, and offered a range of generous benefits, from free dentistry and pre-school for employees to regular vacations. He made preparations for World War II, and the factory continued to operate, even though Wedel was ordered to manufacture chocolate for the Germans. He secretly organized meals for the locals.

After Warsaw fell, The Russian Army Stole Everything Left, and and in 1949 the communists nationalized the company. 

Once Warsaw fell, the Germans arrested Jan Wedel. The Russians then stole everything left in the factory and business. In 1946 the communists nationalized the company and that was the end of the Wedel family involvement. In 1991, Pepsi bought Wedel for a short-lived ownership. After several corporate changes, it’s currently owned by LOTTE, a South Korean conglomerate. I prefer to just think of it as good Polish chocolate, regardless of who owns it.

Did I mention that any vacation involving chocolate must include Merlot?

And, just for fun,

 

 

 

Share Post

Tags: Just for Fun, Polish Food

2 Comments. Leave new

  • The commercial is beautifully done. Wedel chocolates used to be excellent in taste, appearance and contained the highest % of dark chocolate, while the Wedel Company was owned and chocolate produced by the Wedel’s family.

    Reply
  • Wow! A country after my own heart. And a chocolate tour? I’m ready! Loved the commercial.

    Thank you for bringing Poland onto my radar screen, looks like a place
    I’d like to visit.

    As for wine, don’t forget the Shiraz.

    Kixx

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed

Menu