How it works: how much brings the production of marshmallow

The production of pastila Museum factory, OOO “Kolomenskaya pastila”.

Business traditions

The idea to revive the manufacture of pastila in Kolomna appeared at entrepreneur Elena Dmitrieva and Museum worker Natalia Nikitina accidentally. In 2008 they worked together at the Museum “Kolomensky the Kremlin” on a project dedicated to the native Kolomna, the nineteenth century writer Ivan Lazhechnikov, and in his novel “Ice house” found a mention of Kolomna pastila. “It turned out that this brand, which for nearly 300 years,” says Dmitriev RBC. Recipe traditional Apple sweetness partners were able to find in a cookbook of the eighteenth century: kolomentsy not just dried pureed Apple puree, and whipped it with sugar and protein, a mixture of baked in the Russian oven and dried outdoors for several days.

Entrepreneur Elena Dmitrieva.
Photo: Vladislav Shatilo/RBC


Entrepreneur Elena Dmitrieva. Photo: Vladislav Shatilo/RBC

Dmitrieva and Nikitina decided to revive a forgotten culinary tradition, having opened the Museum of industry and small manufacturing. For this in 2008 on a parity basis they have registered noncommercial partnership “the Kolomna center of cultural tourism development “City-Museum”. To try out the recipe and get the first customers Dmitrieva and Nikitina was able at the festival “Ice house”, which is the Museum-reserve “Kolomna Kremlin” conducted in 2008. Dmitrieva was in charge of the software part of the festival and offered their Museum project: to create an area of marsh, where the heroine lazhechnikova — the lady in the headdress — were treated to all comers Apple dessert in stylized boxes and talked about its history. “The festival coincided with the European Championships in speed skating, the city was full of tourists and journalists, our postelsia was a great success,” — says Dmitriev.

General Director of the Kolomna center of cultural tourism development “City Museum» Natalia Nikitina.
Photo: Ruslan Krivobok/RIA Novosti


General Director of the Kolomna center of cultural tourism development “City-Museum” Natalia Nikitina. Photo: Ruslan Krivobok/RIA Novosti

None of the factories in a radius of 100 km has not agreed to do a small order for the production of marshmallow, so the first batch of industry partners was cooking in the kitchen. The main problem was drying: the lush cake after baking was deposited and turned into a thin layer. Came to the aid of her husband Dmitrieva, by profession an engineer and aerodynamicist: during the week he made the dryer and forms for pastes.

Immediately after the festival businesswoman received its first order from Ministry of culture for the manufacture of 200 boxes of marshmallow, which were intended as a gift to the regional officials. To produce a Ministerial order, the “City-Museum” rented “at a reduced price” pastry shop, which was owned by the father Dmitrieva. In the area of 50 sq. m already had all the necessary equipment, except ovens – had to make her his wife. Simultaneously with the start of production partners has launched a travel program, which first took place in Kolomenskoye local lore Museum, and then moved to a separate building. On the Museum equipment and relocation funds NP was not enough, and the “City-Museum” has filed an application for a grant of welfare Fund of Vladimir Potanin. The allocated 750 thousand rubles., Dmitrieva and Nikitina was established pursuant to the private “Museum of vanished taste”.

Apple math

6 tons of apples processed Kolomenskaya pastille factory-Museum in a month

200 gr. pastes obtained from 1 kg of apples

1-7 days is to prepare one batch of marshmallow

154 items of marshmallow, jam and candies in the assortment

200-700 RUB – the cost of packing Kolomna pastila (200 gr.)

1350 RUB leaves on average in the factory Museum every visitor

Source: company data


Factory tours

In 2009, the Museum staff found in the archives a mention of the fact that before the revolution in Kolomna worked house factory pastes merchant Chuprikova. The factory building has survived but was in critical condition and was not used. Dmitrieva and Nikitina decided to move production to a historic site, and the administration agreed to provide premises to rent. “The biggest surprise this building is presented to us, when we found the passage in the ground floor — before we were sure that the room is single-storey, — says Dmitriev. Financial we did not count on the restoration of another floor, but were unable to fit and manufacture, and the Museum in one place.” Exterior finishes, interiors of the house Chuprikova and an antique Russian stove, adapted for drying of pastes, restored according to historical references. The construction was not so smooth: ground floor was half a meter below the level of the road and rain water flow into the house. Had Dmitriyeva to change the pavement around the building, install curbs, lay sewer network, to arrange the pressure wells.

Reconstruction took two years and a cost of 19.3 million rubles, of NP “Town-Museum” received another grant of 1 million rubles from the Fund of Vladimir Potanin and interest-free loan for 4.2 million rubles from the Fund Vagit Alekperov “Our future”. The landscaping around the Museum and local residents donated 2.1 million rubles. the Remaining funds Nikitina and Dmitrieva, according to them, invested from their own savings.

NP was created for the Museum and exhibitions, and the development of production in 2010, the partners registered OOO “Kolomenskaya pastila”. Company they still own together, although the relationship between partners in 2015 deteriorated.

An argument over marshmallows

In 2015, between the founders of the Museum and the Kolomna pastille factory was a rift. In October 2015 NP “Town-Museum”, which is headed by Natalia Nikitina, filed in the Arbitration court of the Moscow region a claim to LLC “Kolomenskaya pastila”, headed by Elena Dmitrieva, about reclamation of property. In the case file contains a remarkable inventory of the disputed property: a bottle, a set of three cans, rakes antique, in General, more than 40 points. In January 2016 a counterclaim with similar requirements of NP “Town-Museum” filed “Kolomenskaya pastila”.

The production of marshmallow is set in the basement floor (150 sqm), and the Museum – the rest of the territory (200 square meters). To start work in a new place had to buy 8 furnaces, one protirochnuju the machine (refines apples into a puree) and 10 mixers. Furniture bought at flea markets and antique dealers, some items were given to local residents, the historic mechanisms made to order. For these purposes it has been spent about RUB 3 million Advertising budget, the company never was: according to Dmitrieva, the promotion factory secured first festival. “About once a month we come to the journalists, local residents and travel agencies also with us a long time familiar, so traditional advertising is not particularly necessary, – says Elena. – We attract attention to himself, coming up with new tour programmes and as a Director of the theatre Museum Pastila”.

In the Museum factory LTD “Kolomenskaya pastila”.
Photo: Vladislav Shatilo/RBC


In the Museum factory “Kolomenskaya pastila”. Photo: Vladislav Shatilo/RBC

All tours in the Museum are held in the form of theatrical performances. About the history of marshmallows can tell the tour guide, dressed as a factory owner or a gardener, or a whole group of actors. The excursion program is a very important part of business, says Dmitriev: Kolomenskaya pastille more likely to buy as a souvenir and not as sweet for daily use. “Due to the complex and long cooking techniques our box of marshmallow at times more expensive than a mass-produced product,” explains Dmitriev. Packing Kolomna pastila weighing 200 grams can be bought for RUB 200-700 (depending on cooking techniques and flavors), the same packaging from the factory “Udarnitsa” — 90 RUB.

The cooking process

On the production floor, there are three main workshops: for the processing of apples into a puree for baking pastes, production of jam and sweets. Packaging for pastes recreate preserved in the archives of sketches or order freelance designers. In the factory-the Museum is open 53 people, including 22 pastry chef, production Manager, two guides and five actors. For the month here is made by hand about 2.5 million packages of Peeps.


The main visitors of the Museum factory tour group. Bursts of traffic occur during the new year, may and November holidays and school holidays. In a month the factory can be from 2,5 to 4 thousand visitors, the average check, given the ticket price (from 300 to 500 RUB.) and the purchase of marshmallow, is 1,350 RUB., the Company cooperates with 134 travel operators and agencies and several private tour guides in Kolomna, takes school groups, associations of pensioners and disabled people. Foreigners among the visitors is not enough — according to estimates Dmitrieva, no more than 3%. “Kolomna was not included in the Golden ring, so foreign visitors often bypass our city’s attention,” she says. — But domestic tourism is developing, and our factory contributes to this in every way”.

“Any production facility or even a standard office can become a magnet for tourists, if he has a chip,” says Yulia Domracheva, representative of search engine tickets Aviasales. In the case of the Kolomna factory, this is an unusual history of the project and the willingness of the founders to share with visitors the secrets of the production. “It is always interesting to look behind the scenes – whether the production of the pastes or the search service,” said Domracheva. – After we started to upload a photo of your workplace on instagram in Phuket, we flew letters from customers asking to take you on a tour”.

Economics sweets

Proceeds of LLC “Kolomenskaya pastila” factory and Museum is about 4.5 million rubles per month, of which 3.2 million RUB comes from the sale of marshmallow, operating expenses of 3.96 million RUB. The largest expenditure items of the company salary Fund (1.85 million RUB) and the purchase of apples for the production of (1.65 million RUB). For the preparation of pastes, only a few Apple varieties: Antonovka, Titovka, skrizhapel. Dmitrieva their purchases from Russian suppliers – mainly in the Tula and Lipetsk, sometimes in Kolomna. Berries and other additives in Kolomna pastila is also of Russian origin. Now Dmitriev is negotiating talks with the head of the Kolomna district on the provision of 10 hectares of land for its own Apple orchard, which could provide the needs of the factory and the Museum become an additional “room” for tourists.

<p>the Museum Products factory LLC&nbsp;&ldquo;Kolomna pastila&rdquo;.</p>
Photo: Vladislav Shatilo/RBC


Museum products company “Kolomna pastila”.

In addition to pastes, the company produces candy and jam. Just product line Kolomna factory 154 items. The most popular classic candy factory Chuprikova, pasta with pine nuts, cranberries and lingonberries. In assortment there are raspberry, lemon candy, the sweetness of the plums and even candy “Sobriety” from binge and heavy drinking. “Of course, this is mostly a publicity stunt – alcohol addiction we do not treat, – says Elena – This recipe we found in the newspaper of the nineteenth century, which said that solving problems should eat five packs of marshmallows and consolidate the results of the sixth”. Part of the “Sobriety” consists of hops, mint and spices.

In addition to the standard costs of rent and utilities costs, in the economy of the factory is recurrent expenditure on scientific research (52 thousand), the development of new tour programs (115 thousand rbl.) and purchase of costumes for the actors (58 thousand roubles). Net profit of “Kolomenskaya pastila” is about 450 thousand rubles. per month. Such indicators, according to Dmitrieva, allowed to return on invested 19.3 million RUB over 23 months.

“Any confectionery, not implying the use of imported components (e.g., cocoa butter), has a good financial stability. The actual margin of confectionery products of own production at retail may be 100% or more of production costs,” says Ilya Shuravin, managing partner of the consulting group Rusland SP. According to him, the cost of labor in Kolomna lower than in Moscow, which also significantly increases the profitability of the company. “The Museum program and special image of the factory gives the manufacturer the advantage in working with retail buyers. This is another factor that allows the company to operate with a higher in comparison with other manufacturers of trade margin”, — said Shuravin.

For a long time Kolomna pastila was only available at the factory, but in 2016 the company launched sales through affiliate online store and opened in Moscow salon of Kolomna pastila. “We have formed a circle of regular customers from the capital, which is inconvenient every time to overcome the distance of 120 km in one direction,” says Dmitriev. Now she is working on a new line for confectionery and specialised bio-shops: plans to improve the technology of preparation of and thus reduce the retail cost of the pastes. On the shelves Kolomna the product should appear within six months.