Kouvolan Lakritsi has been manufacturing its products with uncompromising dedication since 1906. The taste is rooted in a traditional approach to production, the right people, a refined recipe, a touch of love and a supply chain that guarantees the freshness of every piece of liquorice.
The story of the world's best liquorice
Kouvolan Lakritsi was founded in 1906 in Vyborg. The company is descended from two Vyborg-based operators, Papulan Vesitehdas Oy, which started operations on 1 May 1906, and its sister company, Makeis- ja Mehu Oy, founded in 1942.
The story of liquorice production began at Christmas 1945, amidst shortages and rationing, when the state, in the aftermath of war, generously donated a small batch of raw materials for the production of a luxurious delicacy such as liquorice. At that time, the company was operating in Uusikaupunki.
When the activities of the company expanded in 1960, the entire confectionery production was transferred to Kouvola, where Papulan Vesitehdas Oy had also eventually ended up. At the time, liquorice was already gaining a reputation as a popular product.
At the time of the move, it was decided to step up the production of liquorice. A liquorice consultant from England, H. Knoch, was called in to carry out this vital task, and he fine-tuned the recipe to what it still is today.
The new flavour enhancement kick-started the sales of liquorice and the company's management thought that a great flagship product should also have a great name - ENGLISH TASTE. Naturally, the name was inspired by the country of origin of sweet liquorice, England, and after all, that's where Mr Knoch was from!
But at that time, English didn't yet yield very well to the mouths of Finns - not even broken English - so fans of our liquorice started naming the product after the place where it was made. The company's management took note of this and the popular product became Kouvolan Lakritsi.
Makeis- ja Mehu Oy ceased operations in 1990. The production of Kouvolan Lakritsi was also relocated at the same time to a sister company operating in Kouvola, Papulan Vesitehdas Oy, which was also its largest shareholder.
In spring 2008, Timo Nisula bought the Liquorice Factory together with Mikko Vilenius.
In 2014, Nisula became the sole owner of the Liquorice Factory. In 2022 Kouvola Lakritsi expanded its operations and opened a second factory and a factory outlet in the old trade school in Kouvola. Over the years, Kouvolan Lakritsi has also won several awards. One of the first is that of best liquorice in Finland, which was awarded by the MTV programme "Best of Finland". Among its most recent awards are the selection by the British magazine LUXLife as the best liquorice producer in the world in 2020, 2021 and 2022.
One of the key ingredients in the world's best liquorice is a unique liquorice extract that has been specially milled for our use. We have been making liquorice in the same way since 1945, but in 1960 the recipe was subtly refined by an English gentleman consultant, H. Knoch. The taste hit the taste buds of the tasters at once and since then our liquorice has been made according to Mr. Knoch's secret recipe.
Kouvola Liquorice is a champion of the small and an advocate of diversity. Kouvola Lakritsi's healthy yet rebellious spirit has no place for crime, hate speech or bullying others. It's about the desire to stand out from the crowd and to be yourself - and to encourage others to do the same.
To this day, we cherish the tradition of liquorice-making. That's why the world's best liquorice is made using traditional open-flame cooking methods - by real people. Master liquorice makers take it to heart that the intricacies of the technique are passed down from one generation to the next.
Liquorice as it should be.
Public name of the project
Kouvolan Lakritsi - Black Gold 2024
Public summary of the project
The Black Gold 2024 project aims to significantly increase the production capacity of Kouvolan Lakritsi and its international growth.
488 210 €
Best Liquorice Manufacturer 2020
Best Liquorice Manufacturer 2021
Best Liquorice Manufacturer 2022
Suomen paras lakritsi 1995 (MTV3:n Suomen Paras -ohjelma)
Guinness World Record 2021
Strongest in Finland Platinum 2022
Perhemyönteinen työyhteisö 2024
Family-friendly workplace 2023
Companies to Watch 2022
Media and partners
Downloadable Kouvolan Lakristsi logo and brand image packs can be found on the Media page. You can also find contact information for interview requests.