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.
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.
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 colors 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 company expanded, aquiring a factory building & accommodation for 121,000.00 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 research department which still plays a vital role in the Douwe Egberts business.
1954 - Introduction of instant coffee
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.