The history of KCB
The history of KCB Interlight began on 2 November 1989, it is the "heir" of a tradition dating back to the early nineties ... of the nineteenth century.
The second half of the nineteenth century was the time of birth of the Polish middle class. This process, though slow at first, increased its scale at the end of the "age of steam and electricity". The positivist slogan of "grassroots work" fell on fertile ground. Not without significance was the church's change to attitude towards economic affairs. The emerging Polish businesses were increasingly becoming a viable competitor to German and Jewish industrialists and merchants. This phenomenon was characteristic for the whole Prussian partition, but mostly occurred in the Province of Poznan, where Poles dominated in terms of quantity over Germans.
That was the atmosphere in which a candle factory was established in our city in 1892. It was founded by Walenty Noga. The candles produced here were made "strictly according to church regulations and only from pure beeswax." The experience of the owner, who had previously worked for many years at a candle factory in Krotoszyn and in several other places, was a guarantee of the quality of the products. Candles from Gniewkowo soon gained recognition, because - as it was emphasised - "the prices are moderate and the product is reliable." The high class of these products was confirmed by the medals which W. Noga's factory received at regional industry exhibitions in Inowroclaw, Torun, Bydgoszcz and Koscierzyna. Walenty Noga also participated in the city's community life in times of the partitions.
Diversity of the product range
Over the years, albeit slowly, the factory developed. In 1897, a factory of natural beeswax products was built next to the facility, which made it possible to increase the range of products. Candles intended for domestic use started to be produced in addition to church candles. During the interwar period, "W. Noga and Company" also produced Christmas tree candles, grave candles, incense, oils, as well as floor and shoe polish. However, until the outbreak of World War II, the factory in Gniewkowo was focused mainly on the fulfilment of church orders. Despite the diversity of the product range, the candle factory was still a small business. Four or five workers were employed there, depending on the period.
"Wax and Chemicals"
Finally, the "W. Noga and Company" factory was closed in October in 1950. The owner - Mieczysław Drzewiecki, a relative of the founder of the company, appointed a worker cooperative. The newly built plant, which employed 17 workers, was named "Wax and Chemicals" (“Wosko-Chemia”). The company started to develop rapidly. In the sixties of the twentieth century, the first candles from Gniewkowo made their way to foreign markets, including far away countries such as Lebanon, Libya, and Ethiopia. In 1989, the "Wax and Chemicals" Worker Cooperative, together with a foreign investor, established a new joint venture called "Interlight". A new period in the history of the candle factory in Gniewkowo began - KCB Interlight Sp. z o.o. ...