1753 - Egbert Douwes opens his shop
In 1753 Egbert Douwes and his wife Akke Thijsses opened their shop on Midstreet, Joure, The Netherlands. By doing so they lay the foundations, upon which the Douwe Egberts of today was built. Egbert and Akke's mission was to sell products for 'the pleasure of daily living'.
Until the First World War the store sold a large variety of goods. Coffee, tobacco and tea were their main products, but they also sold sweets, sugar, rice, vermicelli, chicory, cinnamon, saffron, syrup, vinegar, chocolate and dried fruit.
1755 - Douwe Egberts (1755-1806)
On 10th January 1755 Egbert Douwes and Akke Thijsses celebrated the birth of their son, Douwe Egberts. In 1775, Douwe Egberts married Ymke Jacobs Visser & in 1780, at the age of 25 he joined his parents in running the family business.
The business continues to grow. The first order book stated that in the year 1783-84, Douwe Egberts sold 17500lbs of coffee, 1500lbs of tea, 250lbs of tobacco & snuff, 6000lbs of sweets & 9000lbs of sugar & syrup.
After the death of his first wife, Douwe remarries Lysbeth Mintjes in 1791. On February 19th 1806, Douwe Egberts died at the age of 51. His wife Lysbeth continues to run the business under the name, 'Firm of the widow Douwe Egberts'!
1812 - New family name
As a result of the French occupation at the start of the 19th century, everyone had to take on a new family name. The Douwe Egbert family took on the name De Jong.
Although Egbert Douwe became well known in Joure, it was Douwe Egbert who expanded the company into other regional markets & therefore why the company became known as Douwe Egberts.
1919 - From Regional to National
Douwe Egbert opened his first national branch on Catherijnekade in Utrecht. The sacks of green coffee beans were transported on the back of a horse drawn wagon to the roasting house.
1925 - The DE Quality seal
The red Douwe Egbert seal is based on the company's wax seal used in the early days. In 1925 this seal was incorporated into packaging design for the first time, appearing on tobacco packs.
Since then the DE seal has had many forms, it appeared not only in red as we see it today, but also in green, yellow, gold and blue. The colours were used to distinguish between the different product quality levels.
1928 - 175 years of Douwe Egberts
In 1928 Douwe Egberts celebrated 175 years in business, the whole community of Joure took part in the celebrations that lasted for 2 days.
The celebrations started with a Holy Mass in Joure parish church, followed by a reception for Douwe Egberts staff. There was also a parade through Midstreet, the home of the first store. The celebrations concluded with a fireworks display!
1929 - Moving to Utrecht
10 years after opening a store in Utrecht, the compay expanded, aquiring a factory building & accomodation for 121000 Dutch Guilders. Located on Merwede Kade in Utrecht, Douwe Egberts still have offices at this address nearly 80 years on.
1940 - Douwe Egberts during the Second World War
During the second world war stocks of coffee, tobacco and tea quickly ran out, as a result the government developed a coffee substitute which the Dutch coffee roasters started to manufacture in 1941.
The coffee substitute contained barley, peas, field beans, chicory, acorns and tulip bulbs. Douwe Egberts produced this product under the brand name Fama & it sold around 68 millions packs until it was discontinued in January 1952. The development of such a product required a significant amount of research, Fama created the foundation of the reseach department which still plays a vital role in the Douwe Egberts business.
1954 - Introduction of instant coffee
American servicemen introduced instant coffee to Europe & as a result of it's growing popularity Douwe Egberts launched Moccona instant coffee in the Netherlands in 1954.
Instant coffee remains popular in the UK, with over 70% of households drinking it. A further development in 1993 saw Douwe Egberts launch instant cappuccino and latte products, another output of the Douwe Egberts research & development department.
1967 - Douwe Egberts goes on TV
In 1967 Douwe Egberts aired its first commercial on Dutch television and was one of the first TV commercials in the country. The ad highlighted the social aspect of bringing people together through coffee drinking.
1978 - A new era for Douwe Egberts
In 1978 Douwe Egberts became allied to Sara Lee Corporation, a leading company in the field of consumer branded goods. This has opened up new & exciting opportunities for Douwe Egberts throughout the world.
1996 - Introduction of Natrena
In 1996 Douwe Egberts added the artificial sweetner Natrena to its portfolio.
2001 - The launch of Senseo
In 2001 Douwe Egberts started a true revolution in coffee drinking. Senseo was the first global launch for Douwe Egberts, creating the single serve coffee segment. Senseo now operates in 22 countries, with 20 million households owning Senseo machines.
2002 - Douwe Egberts gets a new look
When you've been around as long as Douwe Egberts, it's important to keep your brand up to date. Our traditional Frisian lady who featured on the original Douwe Egberts packaging was given a makeover in 2002. The aroma lady is now on all Douwe Egberts products worldwide
2003 - Douwe Egberts celebrates 250 years
In 2003 Douwe Egberts celebrated 250 years of coffee roasting & grinding. There was a large celebration in the Netherlands, the home of Douwe Egberts, to share with & thank our consumers & employees past & present for the success of Douwe Egberts.
Future - …
Douwe Egberts will continue to develop new concepts in coffee, using our 250 years of experience to bring you the best products we can.