15 Khreshchatyk Street

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About the place

In the 19th century, the Swiss started working in large cities of Ukraine, opening their own cafés and pastry shops. One of them was Bernard Semadeni, who came to Kyiv in 1877 and engaged in the ‘sweet’ business. The confectionery café, which Bernard later opened in the building opposite the City Duma, became the most famous brand of old Kyiv. Thanks to the successful placement, stockbrokers, merchants, politicians and other wealthy people gathered at Semadeni’s for a cup of excellent coffee or a game of billiards and resolved business issues here. People came to the café to read newspapers and magazines from all over the world. Young people made appointments here. A trip to the pastry shop was a real event for the Kyivites.

The pastry house sold the best varieties of cocoa and chocolate, chestnuts in syrup and pineapples, bonbonnieres with sweets, signature cakes, butter rolls, various ice creams, ice cream cakes, coffee and kefir, which was rare at the time. For celebrations, multi-tiered cakes of incredible shapes and decorations, edible sweet baskets with flowers, pyramids and bouquets of sweets were ordered.

Semadeni very creatively advertised his establishment and products. Semadeni’s sweet ‘kicker’ was Katty-Boss caramel seasoned with extracts from medicinal herbs, which was promoted as a remedy for throat diseases. The pastry house became one of the first establishments in Kyiv to have a landline phone installed. It had existed until 1925.

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