The company that we now know as Pågen began in 1878. Husband and wife Anders and Matilda Påhlsson began baking and selling bread at their home on Tallgatan in Malmö.
The year was 1878. Anders Påhlsson, model carpenter at Kockums Mekaniska, and his wife Matilda had baked bread at their home for some time, and Anders had begun to take orders from his work colleagues, delivering the bread to them at work.
When his employer found out, Anders was given an ultimatum – either stop selling bread, or quit working at Kockums. He made his decision. He chose bread.
Together with Matilda, who had inherited a sum of money, he founded A. Påhlssons bakery. They baked bread from their home on Tallgatan in Malmö and sold it straight from the oven. The crowd of loyal customers grew, and eventually the family opened a store next to the bakery.
Anders and Matilda Påhlsson were the first generation of the now 135 year-old family company. But it's not just in its ownership profile that Pågen is a family business. Pågen is a family company on many levels. Many of today's workers are second, third – and in some cases, fourth – generation Pågen employees.
In the 1950s, fresh sliced bread was packaged for sale. Påhlsson's bakery was amongst the first to package their bread and cakes. Their first packaging was a cellophane bag for thin gingerbread snap biscuits. Soon, Påhlsson's bread was also packaged in waxed paper.
With the packaging came the ability to sell throughout all of Sweden. At NK department store in Stockholm, customers could now buy cakes all the way from Skåne, which was both great and somewhat curious! Packaging also allowed the option of giving each different bread its own profile and an individual name which was printed on the bag.
And when the Påhlsson's family bakery moved from being local to national, there were new needs to be fulfilled. The name Påhlsson's bakery was considered too anonymous. It needed a name that was associated with youthful vitality and with the company's origins. The choice was Pågen, the Skåne word for 'boy'. In 1965, the name changed to Pågens Familjebageri AB, which eventually was shortened to Pågen AB.