Presa interbelica – Despre cafegii din familia Sismanian – Interwar press – Sismanian coffee sellers













PAUL AGOPIAN

ENGLISH VERSION BELOW

Sismanian a fost un nume cu greutate in lumea cafegiilor bucuresteni din perioada interbelica. Un articol din ziarul Dreptatea din decembrie 1930 ne vorbeste elogiativ despre un negustor armean pe nume Sismanian. Aflam astfel provine dintr-o familie de negustori din Kemah (era kemahti, ca majoritatea cafegiilor), ca a deschis primul magazin in 1905, si ca pravaliile sale sunt dotate cu „instalatiuni ultramoderne electrice si mecanice”. Totodata, il aflam implicat activ in viata sociala a orasului participand activ la o multime de evenimente pentru intrajutorarea orfanilor de razboi, invalizilor etc.

Foarte cunoscut si apreciat in lumea Bucurestilor anilor 1925-1930, Simon M. Sismanian, isi desfasura afacerea sa cu cafea intr-o pravalie din strada Sfantul Nicolae Selari la numarul 25, o locatie ce va avea in timp mai multe generatii de cafegii. Inainte de Sismanian, avusese aici pravalie de cafea pe la 1910 un alt negustor pe nume Ovaghim Haciadurian, cu firma La Doi Porumbei.

„Reputatul Magasin Special La Pasa” vindea cafea, cacao, ceai, rahat, halva si alte produse orientale. Deschide o alta sucursala pe Academiei nr.3 pe care o pierde in 1925 in urma unei executari silite in contul unei datorii. Ii se scot la vanzare renumitele instalatiuni electrice ultramoderne. Se reface dupa aceasta pierdere si il gasim tot pe Sfantul Nicolae Selari la numarul 4 apoi, probabil incurajat de evolutia afacerii sale, deschide sucursale pe Lipscani nr.80, Piata Sfintul Gheorghe si, in anul 1928 pe strada Carol nr.37(azi str. Franceza). Tot in acelasi an castiga Premiul al II-lea la Serbarea Breslelor cu Carul Sismanian – negotul de cafele si arome.

In 1933 da de necaz cu o masina de prajit cafea ce o instalase pe proprietatea sa din strada Latina nr.11. Cosul acesteia a luat foc, distrugand tavanul incaperii. Suntem asigurati de presa ca pagubele nu sunt mari.     

Va fi urmat in majoritatea locatiilor de catre fratii Derenig si Vahan Danielian, mari cafegii si importatori de cafea. Acestia vor deschide magazine in aproape toate locurile unde avea Sismanian, speculez o rivalitate negustoreasca intre ei. Ii gasim mentionati simultan la diferite opere de binefacere, duelandu-se in donatii si opere de binefacere. Ca intr-un scenariu de film indian, trecand peste rivalitatea tatilor, copiii lor ajung sa se casatoreasca. Asa se face ca fiul lui Danielian, Azad, poreclit Pasalica o ia de sotie pe Sake Sismanian, mezzosoprana in Corul Radiodifuziunii. Pasalica va prelua la un moment dat magazinul din Sf. Nicolae Selari si ii va pune firma Cafea Pasalica.

Apare in peisaj si Azad Sismanian posibil frate cu Simon, cu magazin de cafea in strada Baratiei nr.12 (1934-1935), pentru ca mai apoi sa detina o perioda magazinul din Academiei nr.3 (1946). Aflam ca si acesta a avut un ghinion mare cauzat de explozia unei masini de prajit cafea care functiona dupa unii pe benzina, dupa altii pe gaz metan. Explozia i-a spart vitrina magazinului si i-a ranit un angajat.

In 1944, dupa moda vremii, este judecat si condamnat pentru sabotaj economic si specula, fiind invinuit ca a vandut alune turcesti si masline la suprapret. Intr-un proces caragialesc, s-a vazut in situatia de a justifica o diferenta de 17 lei la pretul maslinelor provenind din costul untdelemnului pe care il turna in butoi pentru a da o „fata comerciala bietelor masline”. In 1950 il gasim in strada Doamnei nr.3 apostrofat public pentru nerespectarea preturilor impuse de Minister.

Mai apare si un Peniamin Sismanian, pe Calea Victoriei nr.77 cu firma Cafea Orientul in 1929 – 1944 care, culmea comertului, vindea cafea si lemne de foc. In 1942 mai avea un magazin de cafea in Calea Grivitei nr.216 bis. Este pus si el intr-un final la stalpul infamiei de catre organele ce urmareau reprimarea speculei si sabotajului economic pentru indrazneala de a „eticheta preturi superioare decat cele aprobate de Minister.” Astfel, 1943 este condamnat si pentru alte pricini inchipuite, la o luna de internare in lagar. Se pregatea terenul pentru Marea Nationalizare ce va urma.

In documente mai apar in jurul anului 1915 si alti Sismanian, Merigean M. si Ovanez M. cu firma La Gloria Romana – fabrica de cafea, posibil frati sau alte rude.

ENGLISH VERSION

Sismanian was a name with weight in the world of Bucharest cafes from the interwar period. An article from the Dreptatea newspaper from December 1930 speaks highly of an Armenian merchant named Sismanian. We thus learn that he comes from a family of merchants from Kemah (it was Kemahti, like most cafee sellers), that he opened his first store in 1905, and that his shops are equipped with “ultra-modern electrical and mechanical installations”. At the same time, we find him actively involved in the social life of the city, actively participating to many events to help war orphans, invalids, etc.

Very well-known and appreciated in the world of Bucharest in the years 1925-1930, Simon M. Sismanian, developed his coffee business in a small store in Sfantul Nicolae Selari street at number 25, a location that will have several generations of coffee traders. Before Sismanian, another merchant named Ovaghim Haciadurian had a coffee shop here around 1910, with the company La Doi Porumbei. The “Reputed Magasin Special La Pasa” sold coffee, cocoa, tea, turkish delight, halva and other oriental products. He opened another branch on Academiei no. 3, which he lost in 1925 following a foreclosure on account of a debt. The famous ultra-modern electrical installations are put up for sale. He recovers after this loss and we still find Sfantul Nicolae Selari at number 4 then, probably encouraged by the evolution of his business, he opens branches on Lipscani no. 80, Sfantul Gheorghe Square and, in 1928, on Carol street no. 37 (today str. Franceza). Also in the same year, he wins the 2nd Prize at the Celebration of Guilds with Sismanian Allegorical Chariot – representing the trade of coffees and flavors. In 1933, he ran into trouble with a coffee roasting machine he had installed on his property in Latina street no. 11. Its chimney caught fire, destroying the ceiling of the room. We are assured by the press that the damage is not big.

It will be followed in most locations by the Derenig and Vahan Danielian brothers, great traders and coffee importers. They will open stores in almost all the places where Sismanian had, I speculate a commercial rivalry between them. We find them mentioned simultaneously in various charitable works, dueling in donations and charitable works. As in an Indian movie scenario, overcoming the fathers’ rivalry, their children end up getting married. This is how Danielian’s son, Azad, nicknamed Pasalica, marries Sake Sismanian, the mezzo-soprano in the Radio Broadcasting Choir. Pasalica will at some point take over the store in Sf. Nicolae Selari and name it Cafea Pasalica. Azad Sismanian also appears in the landscape, possibly Simon’s brother, with a coffee shop in Baratiei street no. 12 (1934-1935), to later own the shop in Academiei no. 3 (1946). We find out that he also had a bad luck caused by the explosion of a coffee roasting machine that was running some said on gasoline, others said on methane gas. The explosion broke the store’s window and injured an employee.

In 1944, according to the fashion of the time, he was tried and convicted for economic sabotage and speculation, being accused of selling peanuts and olives at an overpriced price. In a Caragiale`s like trial, he found himself in the situation of justifying a difference of 17 lei in the price of olives coming from the cost of the oil he poured into the barrel to give a “commercial face to the poor olives”.

In 1950, we find him in Doamnei street no. 3 publicly apostrophized for not respecting the prices imposed by the Ministry.

There is also a Peniamin Sismanian, on Calea Victoriei no. 77 with the Cafea Orientul company in 1929 – 1944 which, at the height of trade, sold coffee and firewood. In 1942 he still had a coffee shop in Calea Grivitei no. 216 bis. In the end, he is also put on the pole of infamy by the authorities that controlled the repression of specula and economic sabotage for the audacity to “tag higher prices than those approved by the Ministry.” Thus, in 1943 he was sentenced for other imagined reasons, to one month in jail, in a camp. The ground was being prepared for the Great Nationalization that would follow.

Around 1915, other Sismanians, Merigean M. and Ovanez M. also appear in the documents with the company La Gloria Romana – the coffee factory, possibly brothers or other relatives.

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