The trend of shopping and eating locally is a trend worth supporting, in my opinion. So let’s just say it was a philanthropic drive to support a 133-year-old local business that took me to a chocolate factory up in Alt Tegel. Philanthropy, not gluttony. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
I was working on an article recently about Berlin’s longest-running manufacturers and came across Sawade, Berlin’s oldest chocolate praline maker. The first Sawade opened at Unter den Linden 19 in the year 1880. During the company’s glory days, Sawade was the official praline purveyor to His Royal Highness Prince Wilhelm von Preußen. The brand survived WWII and the lean post-war years, but the closest call for Sawade came just last month, when the company would’ve fallen into bankruptcy if not for a last-minute rescue from private investors, a local couple that, like me, believes historic Berlin businesses are worth preserving.
There are three Sawade shops in Berlin, all out west. If the one I went to in Charlottenburg is any indication, the shops are quirky, cluttered little places, staffed by a small army of fussy gray-haired ladies that are as dated as the design of the packaging. For the record, I’m totally charmed by the retro-ness of it all, though the new owner/CEO has already expressed his wish to modernize a bit. But I digress. What excited me most during my poking around on the Sawade website was the section about their factory outlet sales. An exploratory U-Bahn trek to a new corner of the city? Culminating in half-price pralines? Yes please.
The factory outlet, open daily from Monday to Friday, is a pretty simple affair. Health codes prevent visitors from being allowed to visit the production area, but in the one-room shop you’ll find a variety of surplus, out-of-season, or discontinued truffle and praline varieties at discounted prices, including the unique and surprisingly addictive Waldmeister-flavoured white chocolate truffle. Waldmeister chocolate! A Berlin delicacy if there ever was one. Long live Sawade.
Sawade Berlin | Website | Factory outlet at Wittestr. 26e