In 1870 the German entrepreneur Theodor Riegert opens the first chocolate factory in Latvia. Named after the goddess of fate in Latvian mythology the chocolate Factory “Laima” became one of the largest sweets manufacturers in the Baltic States and throughout the Russian Empire. In 1881 another factory was opened. “L.W.Goegginger” factory, founded by Ludmila Göginger manufactures everything from chocolate to canned fish and became the main competitor of Laima. During the war, the factory was forced to cease its activity for several years.
In 1921 in Karlīnes Street 22/24 (today Miera Street) several Hebrew merchants establish a specialized candy factory “Macedonia” with only four employees initially. Its annual turnover was 30 thousand lats. At the beginning of 1925, the founders and shareholders of the factory established a new company, Laima, which took over all “Macedonian” patents. The company grew rapidly, expanded its activity, and in 1930 it employed already 500 employees. 1933 Ilya Chromenko (The founder) emigrated to Palestine and sold the company.
It was purchased by Latvijas Kredītbanka and in 1937 merged with JSC “Th. Riegert” company in a joint JSC “Laima”. The best machines and the best employees from the liquidated companies JSC “Th. Riegert” and JSC “E. Mežits” were transferred to it. JSC “Laima” became the largest confectionery manufacturer in Latvia, with 790 employees. In 1936 The “Great Clock” in the centre of Riga gets the logo of “Laima” and as of this moment is known as “Laima” clock.
By World War II Laima products came to France, Great Britain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Norway, the United States, Canada, South Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon, British Palestine, Bermuda and India. There are five stores of “Laima” brand in Riga, while the total number of stores in other Latvian cities reaches 10. Since the late 1960s , Laima specializes in the production of candy, chocolate and chocolate products.
- 1993 – Laima was privatized;
- 1998 – JSC “Laima” merged with AS “Uzvara” with the name AS “Laima”;
- 1999 – “Laima” clock in the centre of Riga is reconstructed;
- 2005 – Chocolate Room is opened, later serving as the basis for “Laima” Chocolate Museum;
- 2013 – Opening of “Laima” Chocolate Museum;
- 2014 – Norwegian company Orkla bought NP Foods, which includes JSC “Laima” and other Latvian companies.
- 2016 – Laima gets new visual identity;
- 2018 – New Laima plant will be built in Adazi with an area of approximately 6500 square meters.