The couple resurrected Kutnohora chocolate. Now Lidka is collecting triumphs at competitions

The couple resurrected Kutnohora chocolate. Now Lidka is collecting triumphs at competitions
The couple resurrected Kutnohora chocolate. Now Lidka is collecting triumphs at competitions

From the beginning, the whole chocolate concept was based on the fact that only a museum dedicated to the history of the Kutnohora chocolate factory with a chocolate shop would be created. “After that, however, customers started asking us when we would finally start producing Lidka,” recalls Lada Bartošová.

First, they tried the recipes and production technologies at home in the kitchen to understand the principles of how it works during production. With the new recipes, they tried to get as close as possible to the original, but it is not entirely possible. “For example, we know that Lidka chocolate is mixed for a long time and thus becomes typically smooth and soft. “Production is the same as it was a hundred years ago, mainly thanks to following the procedure and combining the memories of witnesses,” says Bartošová.

“In 2018, we finally managed to obtain the Lidek trademark, and on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Republic, we produced our first chocolate. And sixty years after the closure of the chocolate factory, we managed to resume the production of Lidka chocolate in Kutná Hora,” Lada Bartošová describes the beginnings.

Currently, the small chocolate factory in Kutnohorsk produces nineteen types of chocolate and limited editions – Easter, Christmas with orange, hot chocolate with different percentages.

“We also ventured into milk chocolates made not only from cow’s milk, but also from camel’s, sheep’s and donkey’s milk. We like to experiment,” adds the operator of the museum and chocolate shop.

The fact that Kutnohorské chocolate is the best in its category is proven by several triumphs won at international competitions. Just half a year after resuming production, they won the first bronze medal at the Academy of Chocolate in London.

However, they achieved their greatest success last year at the International Chocolate Awards Europe, where they won the gold medal for 100% chocolate and a number of other medals. They now have almost thirty awards to their credit.

From procrastination to the museum

Lada Bartošová is a trained theater historian, and before she started working on chocolate, she wrote a dissertation on theater pubs in the Czech countryside. Quite by accident, she found out that chocolate used to be made in the places where today’s Kutnohorsk archive is located.

“And since I’m a master procrastinator, at that moment, making chocolate and the factory seemed much more fun and interesting than working on a dissertation. I started looking for information about the Kutnohorsk chocolate factory and found out how famous the factory was in its time. I was terribly sorry that today she is no longer known, no one talks about her,” recalls the operator of the Museum of Kutnohorské chocolate and chocolate production.

First, she decided to open a museum about the Kutnohorsk chocolate factory. She approached local collectors and started looking for exhibits in the museum that were connected to the chocolate factory. She also approached Lenka Choutková, who has been collecting curiosities from Kutnohora all her life. She owned a lot of things from the chocolate factory at that time.

“The foundation of today’s exhibition is precisely her collection, which over the years is constantly growing with new exhibits that we acquire, both from private collections and from various antique bazaars and auctions, here and abroad,” describes Lada Bartošová.

The museum’s exposition is limited by space, so the couple have a large part of the exhibits at home in their bedroom, which they change according to the season. On display are old containers for cocoa and candies, advertising signs, items for chocolate production, as well as photos from the factory and the family of the former manufacturers Koukol and Micher.

“We also have uneaten exhibits on display here, including nearly a hundred-year-old uneaten chocolate or post-war chocolate bars. Some still look tasty, I tasted a piece of one and nothing happened to me,” says the museum manager.

The history of the Kutnohorsk chocolate factory and Lidka chocolate

  • 1918 The Kutnohora chocolate factory Koukol and Michera was founded. Under the Lidka brand, she exported chocolates and candies all over the world, from America to Palestine, all British colonies and all of Europe. Lidka even won the gold medal at the world competition twice in a row.
  • 1948 The chocolate factory was nationalized, production began to be gradually reduced, the founder of the factory had to emigrate and the end of the famous era of the Czechoslovak chocolate industry began to approach.
  • 1958 The chocolate factory, which produced more than five thousand types of candies, employed 500 employees and exported successfully all over the world, disappeared after 1958.
  • Diana, Orion and Nestlé As part of the creation of specialized national enterprises, under the Lidka brand (without the original recipes, the founders of the factory never gave those to the communists), chocolates and candies began to be produced in Orionka in Modřan, in a chocolate factory in Velím and in Diana Děčín. What was left of the Kutnohorsk chocolate factory was bought by Nestlé.
  • 2018 100 years after its foundation and 60 years after the closure of the chocolate factory, the production of Lidka chocolate in Kutná Hora has been restored. The chocolate factory no longer has 500 employees, but only two.
  • 2019 Kutnohorská chocolate Lidka wins. Only half a year after resuming production, she won the first bronze medal at the Academy of Chocolate in London.
  • 2020–21 Lidka receives other awards at the International Chocolate Awards Europe, the International Chocolate Awards World and the Academy of Chocolate in London.

The article is in Czech

Tags: couple resurrected Kutnohora chocolate Lidka collecting triumphs competitions

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