The plan was for him to return to China after completing his studies but due firstly, to the Japanese occupation of China in 1937 and subsequently to World War II and the revolution in China, this plan was changed and he remained in Denmark.
The first Danish made spring rolls were manufactured in Mr Van’s cellar in his private home near Copenhagen. Having received his first order from a snack bar in the famous Tivoli Gardens, it became apparent that larger production facilities were required. In suburban Copenhagen, Mr Van located suitable facilities and during the spring of 1961 the Company took over its first factory. By 1964 the need for a larger factory had arisen and along with the move to a larger factory, the Company changed its name to Daloon which translates from Chinese into ‘the big dragon’.
In 1970 Daloon moved again; this time from suburban Copenhagen to its present location, a purpose built factory in Nyborg. In 1973 the subsidiary Daloon Lebensmittel GmbH was established as a sales office in Germany. In 1983 the Corporation was extended to include a factory in Rudkøbing in the southern part of Denmark and a factory and offices in Newark, England. The latest extension to the Daloon Corporation was in 2001 where Daloon bought the Swedish Company Lecora AB.
During the early sixties, using six gas burners, the ‘rolling ladies’ employed back then, were able to hand roll on a good day, all of 3-400 spring rolls. Since then, production facilities have over the years been automated. For instance, an automated pancake making machine was constructed in the mid sixties and an automated spring roll machine was invented and first used in 1977. Whereas the fastest employees had been able to hand roll up to 6,000 spring rolls per day, the spring roll machine would roll up to 30,000 spring rolls per day!
Daloon’s products are now sold in many European marketplaces, most importantly in the UK, Germany and Scandinavia but Daloon also has significant export markets in France, Finland, Spain, Austria and Switzerland. Spring rolls are still Daloon’s main product and the Corporation currently manufactures in excess of 100 different varieties from 20-200g for preparation in the deep fat fryer, oven or microwave oven. Daloon’s range has over the years been extended to include many different Far Eastern style ethnic snack products including Chinese, Indian and Thai, in addition to those Danish specialities that the Company has manufactured for many years.
Sadly, at the age of 90, Sai-chiu Van died on 14th February 2003 and his youngest son Hemming Van now continues to run the Company.