The Story of Synnøve Finden
Synnøve Finden is a traditional Norwegian dairy company that has enjoyed explosive growth over the past few years. It is also one of few private dairy companies in Norway to survive independent of the co-operatives.
The company holds a unique history of an adventurous woman, Synnøve Finden, who challenged the prejudices against working women of the time.
Synnøve Finden (1882 - 1957) was born on Finden farm located at the head of the world’s longest fjord, the Sognefjord. Here she grew up with 9 siblings. The scenery at Finden is spectacular, the mountains are steep and the only way you can reach it is by boat. Even today Finden is a roadless hamlet and the family supports itself primarily by tourism and farming.
Synnøve was full of energy and enthusiasm and the art of cheese-making was handed down from her mother at an early age. Synnøve Finden proved her interest for cheese-making when she at the age of eighteen left home to study to become a dairymaid. This was quite extraordinary for this time-period, and indicated her dedication for cheese-making. Having completed her dairy education she travelled to Kristiania, the former name for the capital of Norway, now Oslo. During her first years in here, she worked at a wholesale dealer, several grocery stores and a dairy company.
During her time in the capital Synnøve met the woman Pernille Holmen. In addition to common interests, Pernille had money and a trading licence to start cheese manufacturing. So, in 1928 Synnøve and Pernille started their own cheese manufacturing at Kjelsås in Oslo. Synnøve patented her ideas and recipes and watched them closely. Rumor has that she once chased a snoop from the co-operatives away from the cheese plant with a broom-stick. As a dairymaid Synnøve was engaged in improving the quality of Pultost (a traditional Norwegian cheese).
Thus the fairytale began, word spread of the better quality cheese and Synnøve cheese was soon to be found in several grocery stores in Oslo.
Synnøve Finden died in 1957, but her enthusiasm and fighting spirit is clearly discernible within the company.
Visit the farm where Synnøve grew up on the webpage www.finden-gard.no
Synnøve Finden today
After the repeal of the monopoly within the Norwegian dairy industry in 1995, the dairy company Synnøve Finden introduced Synnøve Yellow Cheese in the autumn of 1996. The cheese was favorably received by consumers, and Synnøve Brown Cheese was launched the year after. Today, Synnøve Finden, produces semi-firm yellow cheese, brown cheese and the traditional Norwegian cheese spreads, Gamalost and Pultost.
Synnøve Finden equals Norwegian dairy products of superior quality and the Synnøve brand is widely known in Norway.
The dairy products are produced at Synnøve Finden’s two mail production facilities, in Alvdal and Enebakk. The Alvdal facility is one of Norway’s largest cheese production plants, with modern equipment. The plant produces and distributes more than 8,700 MT of yellow cheese and approximately 1,200 MT of brown cheese per annum.
The second facility, Synnøve Finden Enebakk, located in the Oslo area, produces and distributes approximately 250 MT traditional Norwegian cheeses (Gamalost and Pultost).
A total of 50 types of cheeses are produced under the Synnøve brand, and Synnøve holds approximately 20% of the Norwegian yellow cheese market. Although most of the cheeses are based on modern recipes, some of the products are based on traditional recipes developed by Synnøve Finden herself back in 1928.
Synnøve Finden continues to emphasize innovative packaging and design, and was the first dairy company in Norway to succesfully offer sliced family chees packages.