A. Korkunov The History of a Russian Chocolatier

By: Jane Roseen


!p>When the USSR fell in 1991; a new brand of Russian businessperson was born. No longer under the heavy hand of the Communist Party, the Russian version of capitalism rose from the ashes of the latent regime. One of these businessmen was Mr. Andrei Korkunov.

Mr. Korkunov began his career producing jeans just after the fall of the Communist Regime with only about $30 in his pocket after leaving the Soviet army in the perestroika days. He discovered very quickly, however, that the cost of manufacturing in the new Russia was quite exorbitant and instead changed to importing consumer goods to avoid bankruptcy.

The start of Mr. Korkunov’s foray into the world of chocolates in 1994 was quite by accident. One of his Czech suppliers sent him three containers of chocolates instead of the order of computers he was expecting. To his pleasant surprise, the chocolates flew off the shelves. He decided to delve further into chocolates and contracted with an Italian chocolate manufacturing company to sell their products in Russia.

By the late 1990’s, Mr. Korkunov turned to manufacturing his own chocolates once importing became cost-prohibitive. His extremely modern facility in Malyie Vyazemy in the Odintsovo district of Moscow was completed in 1999. This embracement of modern technology set the A. Korkunov business apart and encouraged the growth that was to come. The first candies rolled off the line on September 26, 1999, and the A. Korkunov line was born.

The manufacturing facility contains state-of-the-art machinery from the Italian company OPM (supplier to such companies as Ferrero Rocher), allowing for amazing products that are far beyond most Russian competitors. The constant oversight of the production process guarantees the best quality chocolates every single time. From the blending of the chocolate all the way to the wrapping in beautiful boxes, the facilities combined with the finest ingredients ensure that A. Korkunov chocolates are always at the peak of perfection.



When the factory was finished in 1999, the output was approximately 17,000,000 pounds of chocolate a year. However, the expansion of A. Korkunov products to overseas markets, especially the United States, brought an unprecedented demand that the facility just could not fulfill. Therefore, Mr. Korkunov added over 91,500 square feet to the manufacturing plant in 2003. This addition allowed the production capacity to more than triple to meet demand both now and in the future.

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Jane S. Roseen is the Owner and President of Harmony Sweets, an international gourmet chocolate shop. Harmony Sweets' mission focuses on individual consumers purchasing gourmet chocolates from around the world for their friends and relatives, as well as corporate gift giving. Gourmet chocolate gift baskets and personalized chocolates are also available. Website: www.harmonysweets.com

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