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1882

The beginning of Vilniaus duona. It was a military based brick steam-force bakery, the largest bakery in the end of 19th century bakeries operating in Lithuanian provinces.

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1895

The bakery baked 378311 poods of bread (1 pood - 16.38 kg). A decade later, the Vilnius Military Bakery was officially placed under an obligation to supply production at lower prices to the poorest townsmen and Vilnius suburbs residents.

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1944

After one other bakery was united to our bakery, together with 15 of small bakery shops operating in the city, the Vilniaus Duona Company was founded. Bakeries were not mechanized, with ovens heated mainly by firewood. Several sorts of bread were baked. until the year 1947, the majority of work at the bakery was accomplished manually.

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1948

Outdated bakery ovens were newly replaced by masonry ovens with the baking conveyor belt. The new ovens were fired with coal, brought by rail to bakery's fuel warehouse. Additionally, at the same period, mechanization of some procedures for dough preparation, distribution and maturation began.

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1975

A new Vilniaus Duona bakery (the 5th Bakery) was built and launched in the capital's current V. A. Graičiūno Street. Six mechanized bread and long loafs baking lines with tunnel ovens were installed.

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1978 - 1989

Reconstructions of bakeries, during which mechanical workshops were built, were equipped with more modern equipment, which made production and its quality even more efficient.

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1990

Vilniaus duona production association (which owned all Vilnius bakeries) was re-registered as a state-owned company - Vilniaus Duona. This name has survived to this day. In XX a. last decade, the products of Vilniaus Duona spread to other regions and became the bread of the whole Lithuania.

Read more

2002

The company has joined the ranks of the VAASAN group, the leader in the Nordic and Baltic bread market.

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2004 - 2008

Vilniaus Duona has successfully implemented a major restructuring project, during which modern efficient production of rye and wheat bread was created. During the restructuring, a new bakery was built and launched in Vilnius, Panevėžys bakery was modernized, and 3 old inefficient bakeries in the center of Vilnius were closed. The restructuring of production and logistics has created the preconditions for the further successful development of the company and the production of new modern bakeries.

Read more

2015

Vilniaus Duona became a part of the Lantmännen group, which one of the biggest companies in agriculture, energy, and food industries. This marked a new beginning for Vilniaus Duona.

Read more

2021

We have substantially renovated Panevėžys bakery: new, more productive lines have been built (e.g. we used to bake 2,200 loaves per hour in one of them, and now - 3,000 loaves per hour), the number of defects is also decreasing. A new technology for baking wheat bread has also been installed in the new wheat bread line in Panevėžys. This will allow us to offer a different look and shape for pastries.

1882 m.
1895 m.
1944 m.
1948 m.
1975 m.
1978 m.
1990 m.
2002 m.
2004 m.
2015 m.
2021 m.

1882 m.

The beginning of Vilniaus duona. It was a military based brick steam-force bakery, the largest bakery in the end of 19th century bakeries operating in Lithuanian provinces.

According to historical sources, the very first military large-scale steam bakery was founded in Vilnius in 1882. Standard, 21-pound loaves, were baked in wood-fired ovens, delivered not just for the army, but also sold to residents of Vilnius city and suburbs. There were 119 employees at the bakery at the time, according to evidence.

Bread stoves were tiered at that time: the stove itself was made of stone bricks, with a constantly stoked heating entry at the front. The walls of the furnace had channels, and via those smoke and hot air from the heating entry went up the chimney.

One person was responsible for furnace stoking. However, more workers were required to pour the flour, prepare the leaven, and to mix it.

1895 m.

The bakery baked 378311 poods of bread (1 pood - 16.38 kg). A decade later, the Vilnius Military Bakery was officially placed under an obligation to supply production at lower prices to the poorest townsmen and Vilnius suburbs residents.

Izidorius Šiaulys, who began his career in Vilniaus Duona more than 40 years ago, initially working as bakery's loader, then an operator in flour warehouse, later as a chief bakery mechanic and even as a technical maintenance manager, states that until the year 1947, the majority of work at the bakery was accomplished manually.

"Everything was done like in a village: the bakers make the leaven, it's fermenting in a kneading trough, which is never to be washed out. Afterward, everything is mixed, topped with flour and water. This mixture ferments for two days - it's important for the mixture to stay warmly covered and be periodically stirred. Sometimes sugar is added. Yeast wasn't added because the no yeast bread was baked at the time. After two days, the bread leaven achieves the sweet-sour taste and aroma. After that, the flour was poured and the dough kneaded. That was backbreaking labor. The kneaded dough once again was warmly covered and left to rest for several hours, to ferment and rise further. Then a piece of dough is kneaded from the whole mass, formed into a loaf of bread, laid on a wooden paddle and put into the oven.", – tells I. Šiaulys.

1944 m.

After one other bakery was united to our bakery, together with 15 of small bakery shops operating in the city, the Vilniaus Duona Company was founded. Bakeries were not mechanized, with ovens heated mainly by firewood. Several sorts of bread were baked. until the year 1947, the majority of work at the bakery was accomplished manually.

Rather an interesting fact is that until mid of 1944 the bakery's status remained unaltered - primarily as a military purposes bakery.

In 1944, after one other bakery was united to our bakery, together with 15 of small bakery shops operating in the city, the Vilniaus Duona Company was founded. Bakeries were not mechanized, with ovens heated mainly by firewood. Several sorts of bread were baked.

"The most interesting operation was the bread kneading. When the bread was required to be delivered to the military, I suppose there were already mechanic bread kneaders fitted in, because it's a very complicated job. I do not know how much of it is true, but there were tales how the dough was kneaded using feet too. I was told that young men in those days, around 1930, went to gaze at the feet of women kneading the dough.", – smiles I. Šiaulys.

1948 m.

Outdated bakery ovens were newly replaced by masonry ovens with the baking conveyor belt. The new ovens were fired with coal, brought by rail to bakery's fuel warehouse. Additionally, at the same period, mechanization of some procedures for dough preparation, distribution and maturation began.

Due to mechanization, the capacity of the bakery doubled. Thus the industrial bread production period began.

„New ovens were about the size of a room. It was fitted with a conveyor and a chain-mounted cradle-shelf. Six loaves of Kaunas bread would be fitted. An actuator turned the conveyor round - after one shelf was lifted, another would arrive. So, the bread would make two rounds in the oven, until the full bake. It would take about 60 minutes“, – tells a long time Vilniaus Duona veteran I. Šiaulys.

The mechanized operations led to a rapid increase in the quantity of baked bread, but the number of employees had remained virtually unchanged.

With the rapid Vilnius population growth (from 110 thousand in 1944, to 236.1 thousand in 1959), the planned construction development of new bread bakeries started in Vilnius. Already in 1946 at Konarskio Street, a new bakery was built. There new conveyor baking ovens were fitted.

1948–1950 the queues to buy bread began to decline. At that time, the city of Vilnius was better supplied with bread than other cities. 1956 The 2nd factory on Tuskulėnų Street, which had rolling mills and buns production workshops, showed that life in the city had improved.

1975 m.

A new Vilniaus Duona bakery (the 5th Bakery) was built and launched in the capital's current V. A. Graičiūno Street. Six mechanized bread and long loafs baking lines with tunnel ovens were installed.

The maximum bakery's productivity at the time reached 135 tons per day. “The tunnel oven is a huge tunnel - 25 meters in length and 2.5 meters in width. A 2-meter wide metal net is rotating inside. It rides along the baking chamber and returns back. The top of the camera was heated. Bread loaves were laid out on the net through the entire tunnel. It took about 24 minutes for a long loaf to bake.”, – tells I. Šiaulys.

The Bakery at V.A. Graičiūno Street was constructed during the period of Cold War, so the location was especially relegated to an industrial district, the distance from the city center more than 15 km.

“The notion held, if the incident occurred and nuclear weapons were used, this bakery would be the last one of Vilniaus Duona, remaining in low destruction zone. In addition, this bakery was built according to a period bakery project typical to that, not adapted for baking our Lithuanian - scalded - bread. Thus, after bakery's construction and launch, gradual reconstructions went on for several years.” – tells I. Šiaulys.

1978 - 1989 m.

Reconstructions of bakeries, during which mechanical workshops were built, were equipped with more modern equipment, which made production and its quality even more efficient.

In the year 1978, a waffle workshop building was constructed in the 4th Bakery, with installing three waffle leaf baking ovens together with necessary machinery for spreading, cutting and packaging of wafers.

In the year 1981, a tare free flour storage warehouse was constructed by the 2nd Bakery. In the year 1985, a modern German baking line for ready to go buns was installed and launched, and for two decades the famous buns 3 Kapeikos were baked here.

During years 1982 to 1984 Druskininkai Bakery was reconstructed - a complete bakery’s building renovation, with new machinery, installed. As the Druskininkai Bakery had no gas pipe, electric ovens were installed. Druskininkai Bakery gained notoriety after reconstruction not just for high-quality bread and pastry products, but also for oatmeal cookies baked there.

In the year 1983, the 2nd Bakery's new administrative building was constructed, with a large auditorium and mechanical workshops installed. During 1986 and 1988, the long loaf baking workshop was fully renovated, having operated since bakery’s construction. A new long loafs production building was constructed, with four mechanized long loafs lines with Czech ovens, modern dough preparation, portioning, and dough rising equipment.

In the year 1985, constructions of big enlargement with administrative offices, auditorium, and workshops of soft confectionery were completed. New confectionery workshop's productivity - 8 tons of cakes, biscuits, and cakes per day. Pastries section was reconstructed in the same year.

The closing accord of this period - in the year 1989, construction of the 6th Vilniaus Duona Bakery started in Justiniškės district. Production efficiency planned - 60 tons per day. This bakery was designed to replace the 1st Bakery, specializing in the baking of Palanga bread. Also, plans for a wide range of dietetic bread and cake products were set, till then baked at the 4th Bakery. Unfortunately, due to economic situation changes and intermitted centralized funding, this bakery's construction discontinued. In the year 1994, it was separated from Vilniaus Duona and sold.

1990 m.

Vilniaus duona production association (which owned all Vilnius bakeries) was re-registered as a state-owned company - Vilniaus Duona. This name has survived to this day. In XX a. last decade, the products of Vilniaus Duona spread to other regions and became the bread of the whole Lithuania.

Vilniaus Duona in a period lasting till Lithuania's Independence Restoration was the largest and most modern bread-producing enterprise in the Baltic States regarding production capacity, number of employees, and production range. The main rival by various indicators was the Minsk Bread Industry Association. At that period, 1550-1600 employees worked at the Vilnius Bakery Industry Association. By the year 1990, production amounts of Vilniaus Duona reached to 260-280 tons per day.

During this period, bakeries of Vilniaus Duona were specialized, as each bakery produced certain products:

1st Bakery baked only one kind of bread – the Palanga bread. Bakery’s productivity – 40 tons per day. In the year 1984, at the VDNX exhibition in Moscow an Italian long loafs baking line was purchased, to be installed in the shop quarters on the Konarskio Street flower market premises, the shop assigned to the 1st Bakery. For nearly two years, long queues of buyers formed at this shop.

2nd Bakery used to bake white wheat products. Throughout total operation period of nearly 60 years, not a single dark rye bread loaf was baked here. The total bakery range: long loaves, pretzels, rusks, crisps, gingerbread, braided breads, bunds, buns, cakes, Lithuanian šakočiai ("tree-cakes").

3rd Bakery throughout total operation period remained as the main supplier of dark padded scalded bread. Main product – Kauno bread – later was renamed to Vilniaus bread, loaf’s weight– 2 kg. Later on, the highly popular Bočių bread was baked, loaf weight 1.5 kg. In addition to those two main pieces of bread, some other bread types were introduced in different periods, without getting more popularity. In addition, a pasta factory operated in this bakery.

4th Bakery baked several types of dark rye and white wheat shaped bread, buns, bunds, cakes, several types of dietetic breads, most popular of these was Rugelis. Later, after the construction of waffle production workshop, bakery produced a wide range of spread waffles, together with very popular waffle cakes, production of which in part compensated lack of traditional cakes. Pre-packaged waffle sheets become popular. This bakery was renowned for soft confectionery. The cakes - ranging from the simplest biscuits, such as the Obelėlė, to the commemorative Eglė, Kankorėžis, and others.

5th Bakery acted as an auxiliary for Vilniaus Duona bakeries. With six high-capacity bread-long loafs baking lines, it was capable of fulfilling the increase of bread demand for large-scale events in Vilnius. In addition, this bakery made possible for reconstruction processes of other bakeries or in case of oven maintenance works. The following products were baked in the bakery: Pjautinis long leaf, Long leaf with raisins, Dzūkų, Pajūrio, Sostinės bread. This bakery also produced breadcrumbs. Situated on the city's outskirts, the bakery served the villages and townships of Vilnius and Trakai districts.

Druskininkų Bakery delivered bread and cake products to shops of Druskininkai town and surroundings. Druskininkai bakery baked oatmeal cookies, the most popular ones - Rudenėlis, delivering these to Vilnius and other cities.

Production of short expiration time (breads, long loaves and etc.) each bakery was separately delivering to stores. The bakeries had their own expedition departments, employing expedition managers, dispatchers, production storekeepers.

Production to smaller shops in Vilnius city was transported once a day, and twice to larger stores. Vilnius had about 20 stores, where production was delivered at night, for the third time in twenty-four hours.

"Sometimes there occurred oddities, as traffic jams started by some shops having complicated access, as several trucks, delivering Vilniaus Duona production, would queue. One bringing Palanga bread from the 1st Bakery, the second car with loaves of Vilnius and Bočių from the 3rd Bakery, and here would arrive the long loaves from the 5th.", – reminisces I. Šiaulys.

2002 m.

The company has joined the ranks of the VAASAN group, the leader in the Nordic and Baltic bread market.

In 2001 it was clear that a Finnish company had an interest in Vilniaus Duona. On the 29th of January 2002, Vilniaus Duona Plius stocks were sold to a company Vaasan&Vaasan from Finland. This company also bought a share of Panevėžio Duona stocks which belonged to Vilniaus Duona.

This marked a new episode in Vilniaus Duona history. Joining Vaasan group meant a whole new business development turn in Scandinavian and Baltic bread markets. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd bakeries were running smoothly, along with a waffle factory, retail stores, a spot in Karoliniškės local market, and a sub-branch Panevėžio Duona.

The production assortment has changed. All the products from the 4th bakery were off the shelves. Such goods as pasta, pretzels, cakes, pies, buns, and tree cakes were no longer produced. Little by little, the number of employees started to reduce too.

With a bigger focus on logistics and delivery, a new project of a logistics hub Centrum was introduced. To fulfill this plan, a new property was rented out in Žarijų str., Vilnius. The logistics center was opened in 2003, and all products delivered to the stores was first handled there.

2004 - 2008 m.

Vilniaus Duona has successfully implemented a major restructuring project, during which modern efficient production of rye and wheat bread was created. During the restructuring, a new bakery was built and launched in Vilnius, Panevėžys bakery was modernized, and 3 old inefficient bakeries in the center of Vilnius were closed. The restructuring of production and logistics has created the preconditions for the further successful development of the company and the production of new modern bakeries.

2004 marked the start of a major Panevėžio Duona renovation and modernization project. It was completed in 2008 spring. After this, the bakery in Panevežys became the most cutting-edge bakery not only in Lithuania but in all three Baltic countries.

During the first stage of the project implementation, a new long loafs line was introduced – from mixing the dough to slicing and packing. The productivity of this line was as high as producing 2600 units per hour. During the later stages, two rye bread lines were released, which could each produce 3000 loaves of bread per hour. At the end of this project in 2007, Panevėžio Duona joined Vilniaus Duona and became one of Vilniaus Duona bakeries – Panevėžys Bakery.

At the end of renovation, between 2007 and 2008, a new Vilniaus Duona bakery was built in V. A. Graičiūno str., together with a modern logistics center. It had cutting-edge long loaves and buns line, a tunnel baking oven, a cooling machine, and slicing-packing equipment.

The new bakery was named The 1st Bakery of Vilniaus Duona. So in the middle of 2008 JSC Vilniaus Duona had these units: Panevėžys bakery and the logistics center, The 1st Bakery of Vilniaus Duona and the logistics center, and the old 2nd bakery, which used the logistics center of the 1st bakery. Both logistics center in Vilnius and Panevežys worked hand in hand in delivering bread from Vilnius to Panevėžys and vice versa.

2015 m.

Vilniaus Duona became a part of the Lantmännen group, which one of the biggest companies in agriculture, energy, and food industries. This marked a new beginning for Vilniaus Duona.

In February 2015 the production of long loaves was discontinued in the 2nd bakery. In July the bakery was closed. In the same year, Vilniaus Duona became a part of the Lantmännen group, which one of the biggest companies in agriculture, energy, and food industries. This marked a new beginning for Vilniaus Duona. The bakery turned a new page in its’ 130 years history.

In 2016 Vilniaus Duona opened a brand new modern bread factory. On the 12th of May, Vilniaus Duona had an official opening of the most cutting-edge bakery in the Baltic countries. The President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė attended the event congratulating Vilniaus Duona on this occasion. Together with the management of the bakery, she made a symbolic first cut to a 2-meter length rye bread loaf.

A new bakery was opened by expanding the old one on V. A. Graičiūnas street. Two new production lines were introduced – making wheat long loaves and toasts. If those two lines were at the maximum pace, it could make 80 tons of bread products a day.

2021 m.

We have substantially renovated Panevėžys bakery: new, more productive lines have been built (e.g. we used to bake 2,200 loaves per hour in one of them, and now - 3,000 loaves per hour), the number of defects is also decreasing. A new technology for baking wheat bread has also been installed in the new wheat bread line in Panevėžys. This will allow us to offer a different look and shape for pastries.