Great Heritage of De Kuyper
Petrus De Kuyper and Anna Custers open a ‘cooperage’ inHorst, a village in the South of The Netherlands. They make and sell casks.
Jan de Kuyper, third son of Petrus and Anna, makes a shift in the company’s activities to the production of gin with the purchase of a Schiedam distillery.
Jan de Kuyper’s sons, Johannes and Pieter, succeed in taking over a large distillery in Rotterdam. A few acquisitions and extensions later they become the biggest distillers in the city.
After many years of losses, Johannes and Cornelis Petrus decide to divide the business. The distilleries in Delfshaven go to Cornelis Petrus, whilst Johannes stays on at the Rotterdam distilleries. The business owned by Johannes (and his son Cornelis) forms the basis for the company today.
The second half of the 19th century shows a boom in trade. Foreign demand for Dutch spirits grows.
The London company Matthew Clark & Sons becomes a very important customer. Clark does not only purchase De Kuyper’s products for the UK, but also develop a strong taste for Dutch gin. Around 1870, 85% of exports are destined for the UK and Canada.
The De Kuyper company finally establishes itself in Schiedam on the site purchased back in 1893.
The new distillery is brought into use. It is still in use today.
Start of liqueur production. Over the course of the 1930’s De Kuyper produces nearly twenty varieties of liqueur, including apricot brandy, cherry brandy, triple sec and crème de menthe.
End of the 1920’s
To ensure that the Kuyper’s brand retains a foothold in the USA, De Kuyper supplies alcohol-free gin and orange bitters. A reliable source has informed us that the taste left a lot to be desired.De Kuyper had always primarily focused on exports, however at the end of the 1920’s the company devises a strategy aimed at conquering the Dutch market. Travelling salesmen are employed and the first advertisements are published in newspapers and magazines.
Persistent demand from Canada and North America leads to an agreement between De Kuyper and Meager Bros & Co for the production and sale of gin for the Canadian market. Henry De Kuyper takes charge of the Canadian distillery.
De Kuyper enters into an agreement with National Distillers Products Corp. in New York regarding the sale of De Kuyper products and the joint establishment of a production unit in New Jersey. De Kuyper USA is born.
1945 - 1955
During the reconstruction the government decides that export has priority over production for domestic consumption, with the aim of bringing foreign currency into the country. For De Kuyper, this means an explosive increase in production.
The advent of Dutch brandy. The 1950’s marked a struggle between The Netherlands and France over the product name ‘Dutch Cognac’. The Dutch government eventually yields to the pressure from France. Within a few years, new labels are issued and the name ‘Dutch brandy’ changes to Vieux. Dutch brandy becomes hugely popular in the Netherlands, partly thanks to the fact that the product goes very well with mixers.
The labour shortage inspires De Kuyper to take on female staff as part of a trial. The trial proved to be a success, and the company has employed female staff ever since.
De Kuyper takes the lead in the US liqueur market with the introduction of Peachtree.
A Royal endorsement! To mark the company’s 300th anniversary in 1995, De Kuyper is granted the designation ‘Royal’ granted by Her Majesty Queen Beatrix.
Acquisition of Erven Warninks, famous for its advocaat.
Opening of the De Kuyper Works! A visitor centre with a ultra-modern bar for workshops and an international centre expertise for cocktails and long drinks.
Acquisition of Mandarine Napoléon
Acquisition of Rutte distilleries Dordrecht
Opening new distillery at Schiedam site
Acquisition of Cherry Heering
After nearly 325 years, Koninklijke de Kuyper is still a family business and the company has succeeded in making a global name for itself as a leading distiller of liqueurs and advocaat: more than three centuries of excellent quality from the heart of Schiedam!