Posted in Kafevend Blog
The Dutch have had a long association with coffee, being one of the dominant traders in the commodity when it was a newcomer to the European pallette (find out more here). From colonies established in the East Indies, vast amounts of Dutch coffee was brought into Europe, and it was small business owners like Egbert Douwes who sold it on to those with the cash for such a luxury. Opening a store in Joure with his wife Akke Thijsses in 1753, they sold a variety of exotic goods, stocked with items such as tobacco, tea, coffee, chicory, chocolate, sugar, cinnamon and syrup.
In 1755 the couple had a son, who they named Douwe Egberts. At the age of 25, he joined his parents in running their now very successful business- a look at their record books shows that mid way through the 1780s they were shifting thousands of pounds worth of goods, in particular 17,500lbs of coffee. Whilst his parents had certainly put in the groundwork, it is Egberts' name that is borne by the company today following his efforts at expanding the business further afield from Joure. A shout out should go to his second wife Lysbeth Mintjes who continued to run the company in his name after he died in 1806.
Douwe Egberts is now a world wide brand, with over 250 years of history. Alongside coffee and tea it still sells tobacco, the original trio of goods that were sold in large amounts centuries ago by Douwes and Thijsses.