Every company has a story and ours dates all the way back to the late 1800s. Watch the video and learn how one man’s obsession with perfection shaped one of the world’s leading bakeries (if we may say so ourselves).
The story of Viggo Schulstad..
Christian Viggo Schulstad 1848 - 1921
1880 - A shaky start
When 32 year old Viggo Schulstad opened his first bakery in Copenhagen he didn’t know a lot about bread. But he did know a lot about business. And with more people moving to the cities he saw an opportunity. Competition, however, was tough and Viggo’s bakery quickly hit a rough patch. A patch that would last the better part of a decade.
1890 - Going solo
To boost the quality of the bread, Viggo Schulstad moved production to new and improved facilities. He waved goodbye to his partner Wilhelm Irgens and changed the name of the company from “Store Kongensgade Bread Factory” to “Viggo Schulstad’s Bakeries”. Still, it would take a venture into the world of science to break the company’s dry-spell.
1891 - A dash of science
In the 1880s, rye bread was made with highly acidic sourdough to the great regret of doctors and stomachs alike. But one day Viggo Schulstad stumbled upon an article written by chemist Christian Ludwigsen, who claimed to have found a way to bake healthier rye bread. Soon, the two joined forces in the pursuit of acid-free bread.
1893 - Cleaning up the mess
Back in the day, you wouldn’t be surprised to find a cigarette butt in your rye bread. Viggo Schulstad, however, understood that you couldn’t make quality bread in an unhealthy environment. So he banned smoking, tobacco munching and – thank goodness – the kneading of dough with bare feet from his bakeries. 5 years later, the rest of the country followed suit.
1896 - Eureka
While Viggo Schulstad continued to improve the working conditions with electric lighting, washing facilities and hygiene 101 crash courses, Christian Ludwigsen applied his science to the rye bread recipes. Soon the dynamic duo could launch a groundbreaking malted bread, without sourdough and with proven digestible benefits. At last, business took off.
1902 - A bakery revolution
The two pioneers were soon recognised as bakery experts hell-bent on improving every last detail of their production. In 1902, Viggo Schulstad opened a new bakery with all the technological innovations of the time, with a dedicated focus on fresh raw materials, immaculate hygiene, and employee working conditions that were years ahead of their time.
1917 - The bakery brigade
During World War 1, prices on raw materials skyrocketed. While many companies went out of business, Viggo Schulstad united four large Copenhagen-based bakeries in a single company. The principles of Schulstad and Ludwigsen were employed in all bakeries, and the foundation of the modern Schulstad company was in place.
6th December 1921 - Viggo Schulstad passes away
Viggo Schulstad dies aged 73 at home in Klampenborg north of Copenhagen...but his legacy of quality, innovation and attention to detail lives on.