From sweets to railroad brakes: what factories operate in the center of Moscow

March 31
Economy and entrepreneurship

Moscow is one of the main industrial centers of Russia. The products of the capital's enterprises are exported to more than 180 countries around the world and account for about 15 percent of the total volume of goods produced in the country.

Today, more than 20 industrial enterprises operate not so far from the Kremlin, in the Central Administrative District. They produce a wide variety of goods, from confectionery to railway equipment.

Sweets with a history

For almost 200 years, one of the oldest confectionery enterprises in the country, the “Rot Front”, has been producing caramel, chocolates and other sweets. More than 100 thousand tons of confectionery products are made here every year, about 13 percent of them to be exported.

The history of the factory started in 1826, when a common citizen Sergey Lenov organized a small family business for the production of lollipops. Later, it expanded and began to produce different varieties of sweets. By the end of the 19th century, the products of the Lenov had gained popularity not only in the country, but also abroad.

Since then, the factory mastered a complex technology of making layered caramel for the production of such sweets as the Gusinye Lapki and Rakovye Sheiki. If earlier such a caramel was made by hand, today the process is automated. The business card of the factory is the Rot Front bars, which have been produced since 1950.

Since 2002, Rot Front is a part of the holding company United Confectioners. In 2016, the factory received the status of an industrial complex. It has its own full-cycle line for processing cocoa beans, which is one of the largest in Eastern Europe. It was designed in 2019 using the latest technology for our country: cocoa beans should be first cleaned, and then crushed, fried and oil pressed.

Favourite recipes and advanced technology: major changes in Moscow confectionery businessTime tested: Moscow factories with centuries-long history

Chiefs of Pointe Shoes

Dancing shoes and pointe shoes also come to the artists directly from the center of Moscow. Grishko company has been in charge of this for 30 years. The factory annually produces more than half a million pairs of dance shoes, as well as more than 125 thousand pieces of clothing.

The company was founded in 1989. It started with the production of pointe shoes, and evolved into sewing stage costumes as well.

All pointe shoes are hand crafted using a unique technology developed by our compatriots. Ballerinas all over the world are ready to stand in line for several months to buy Moscow dance shoes. Almost 80 percent of the products are exported. Grishko products can be found on store shelves in more than 75 countries around the world. In the Czech Republic, pointe shoes are even called “grishkovki” after the company name.

Despite the fact that Grishko respects the traditions and does not abandon hand crafting, the company tries to keep up with the times. Last fall, it introduced an online app Grishko Smart Fitting. It allows ballerinas to try on and buy professional ballet shoes using a smartphone. In the app, one can measure all three necessary parameters (length, width, and circumference of the foot) and determine the size to the nearest millimeter.

Shoes on the bank of the Moskva River

There is also a company in the center of Moscow that makes casual shoes. Men's and women's shoes, boots and sandals are sewn at the Parizhskaya Kommuna shoe factory (the Paris Commune factory).

The company was opened in 1922, when the Moskozh association decided to assemble several small shoe factories in one of the buildings of the former Mikhailovskaya manufactory. The day of the grand opening coincided with the Day of the Paris Commune. By the way, the company was founded as the first state factory of mechanical production of shoes.

If speaking in modern terms, an innovative cluster appeared in Zamoskvorechye by the end of the 30s. It was aimed to develop light industry, create new products and technologies, and put them into production. It was at the Parizhskaya Kommuna factory that the first swinging tray conveyor was constructed in 1934. With it, the shoe production became a continuous flow. The conveyors made it possible to double the output volume without expanding the factory area.

Making children's shoes is still the main direction of production. In the 20s, specialists invented a special method of fixing the sole for small sized shoes. The first industrial batch of children’s shoes was produced in 1942 despite the Great Patriotic War.

Also, since pre-War times, the factory has been sewing shoes for the Russian army.

Suit from Bolshevichka

One of the oldest sewing enterprises in the country, Bolshevichka, has sewn men's suits, jackets, trousers and coats in the Krasnoselsky district for more than 90 years.

During its existence, the factory has repeatedly completed important state orders. In the 1930s, the first uniforms were made here for employees of the newly opened Moscow Metro. During the Great Patriotic War, the factory was evacuated to Omsk, where it produced uniforms for Red Army soldiers. In 1945, the participants of the Victory Parade marched on Red Square in uniforms from made at Bolshevichka.

Another important order included costumes for the USSR national team at the Olympics-80. The company had to reconfigure all the equipment, and the seamstresses had to work overtime to sew the Olympic uniform on time.

Today, the factory continues to make modern men's suits, as well as clothing for women — skirts, trousers and jackets. In 2016, Bolshevichka was one of the first enterprises in the capital to receive the status of an industrial complex. It now enjoys the support of the Moscow Government.

Brakes for railways

Moscow Brake Factory Transmash (MTZ Transmash) is located just five kilometers from the Kremlin, on Lesnaya Street. It was established almost 100 years ago.

Russian railroad used brakes of an American company for a long time, which cost the country a lot, and railway workers complained about their unreliability. Then it was decided to create their own production. The premises of the former imperial wine warehouse were allocated for the enterprise. The factory products surpassed foreign analogues in quality already in the first years. The test station of the Moscow Brake Factory had no analogues in Europe.

Today, the Moscow Brake Factory Transmash develops and produces more than 200 types of brake equipment for locomotives, passenger and freight cars, rail buses, track cars, and metro cars.

All brake systems are designed taking into account the features and specifics of the Russian railway operation: long distances, operation of rolling stock in sparsely populated regions, complex terrain and the variety of climatic conditions.

More than 1.5 million vehicles of railways and subways of the CIS countries, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, a number of countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America are equipped with brakes made by the Moscow Brake Factory Transmash.

In 2016, the factory also received the status of an industrial complex.


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