Swedish classic thin bread (Tunnbröd) has very old traditions in the Swedish High Coast. As the name implies the bread is very thin, which has its historical and climatic reasons. Wheat is the best cereal to bake bread, but because of the cold climate and short summers barley became the only grain that could be grown in the north of the Sweden.
The flour grains have no natural gluten content which is necessary to obtain dough to ferment and thereby be well baked, so they flattened the dough instead. In this way the thin bread "gudskelov" (thank god) was invented.
It all began in a small bakery.
Mjällom is a small community in Nordingrå right in the heart of the Swedish High Coast. Here is where the source of Swedish bread culture and Sweden's oldest Flatbread Bakery Mjälloms Tunnbröd started. Like so many other bread manufacturers Mjälloms began its career as a small bakery.
Back in the days when every farmer had their own bakery on the farm and at the start of industrialism the workers had no time to bake their own bread so they hired special bakers who did the work for them. One of them was Christina Wiberg. Her daughter, Ruth, proved at an early age to be a good baker and she often helped her mother.
1923 - Mjälloms Tunnbröd Bakery starts and with new confidence in the context of women's voting rights two years before, Ruth, 21, took a big decision. With money saved and a loan of a thousand Swedish Kronor from a shoe manufacture she takes the courageous decision to build a bakery - Mjälloms Flatbread Bakery was born. Even the shoe manufacture himself was involved in the bakery's success, he sold Mjälloms Tunnbröd whilst traveling up the Ångermanalven (one of Sweden’s longest rivers). The bread was delivered in wooden boxes nailed by hand.
1946 - Machines replace the heavy labour tasks & the first machines were installed at the bakery. Ruth Ullsten spontaneously burst out with the words "heaven on earth" when she saw the machines. Evert Ullsten had turned to Erik Ahlenius in Häggvik, widely known for their technical expertise, to jointly construct a facility for mechanized production. Although the technology has refined over the years this structure was so well done that today it’s the basis for bread baking at Mjälloms Tunnbröd.
1974 - The second generation, Ivan Ullsten and his wife Laila, takes over the family business and the bakery moves to Ullånger. After several years of strong expansion and because of the small site and the lacking of land to expand they decided to build a new modern bakery in Ullånger a few miles from Mjällom. They keep the name Mjälloms which made both the place and the bread famous throughout Sweden. In early spring 1977 the new bakery is finished.
1992 - Third generation, Torbjörn Ullsten 21-year-old takes over the bakery just like his grandmother did and takes over the running of the family business. Along with his wife Ethel he takes the bakery into a new era. Three of the company’s products are still based on Grandma Ruth's recipe.
Since 1923 ...
We have taken the step from wood-fire ovens to a more modern bakery. We have put great care in preserving the thin breads unique character. Our baking therefore follows the same steps as when the first dough where added.
However, we continue to keep our minds open to new tempting tastes, trends and delicious recipes. Deliveries of our thin bread are no longer just in the countryside but to the whole of Sweden and to the continent.