The Korea Herald


Sungsimdang outperforms bakery giants to log sales over W100b

By Hwang Joo-young

Published : April 19, 2024 - 14:27

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A Sungsimdang branch in Daejeon. (The Korea Herald DB) A Sungsimdang branch in Daejeon. (The Korea Herald DB)

Sungsimdang, a local bakery brand based in Daejeon, outperformed the country's top bakery franchise giants, Paris Baguette and Tous les Jours, logging record sales last year, a regulatory filing showed Friday.

Rosso, Sungsimdang's holding company, said the bakery recorded sales figure of 124.3 billion won ($89.7 million) in 2023, a 52.1 percent increase from the previous year’s 81.7 billion won.

It is the first time a local bakery has achieved more than 100 billion won in sales without the backing of a conglomerate.

Sungsimdang also saw its operating profit double in 2023 from 15.4 billion won in 2022 to 31.5 billion won in 2023, beating the franchise giants.

In the same period, Paris Croissant, the operator of leading bakery brand Paris Baguette, and CJ Foodville, the operator of Tous les Jours, reported operating profits of 19.9 billion won, and 21.4 billion won, respectively.

One of the bakery’s signature items is the “twigim soboro,” or fried streusel, which has a sweet, red bean paste filling encased in a crispy, cookie-crumble bun. Priced at 1,700 won, the bread has sold over sold over 96 million units, as of last year.

Sungsimdang runs a total of 11 branches in Daejeon alone. The owner family promised commitment to the local community since its foundation in 1956, and refuses to expand operations to other cities.

“Sungsimdang is part of Daejeon's culture and is a local company whose achievements were made possible with the trust and affection of local citizens,” the company said in its introduction on the official website.

The name "Sungsim" translates to "sacred heart," reflecting the owner family's Catholic faith. In line with their values, all Sungsimdang branches donate unsold bread to local institutions such as nursing homes and orphanages after closing hours.

In recognition of its societal contributions, Sungsimdang's late founder, Lim Gil-sun, was awarded the order of St. Gregory the Great by the Holy See in 2015. The bakery also had the honor of catering to Pope Francis during his visit to South Korea in 2014.

More recently, Sungsimdang gained attention as Hanwha Eagles' baseball pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin gifted its bread to Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who was visiting South Korea for the opening match of the Major League Baseball season last month.