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The History of Zoegas
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Zoégas. Already the name makes you think of the very interesting story of the company, its background and development. A true story filled with interesting pictures, personalities, purposefulness and great humanity.

The Zoéga family has its roots in Italy and came via Germany, Denmark and most importantly via the coffee country of Brazil to Sweden. With a coffee roaster costing 90 Swedish crowns and a coffee grinder for 83 crowns Carlos Zoéga set up a coffee shop in Landskrona in 1881,

1886 was the birth year of the company, since the business had by then grown and was moved to Helsingborg. "I hereby announce that I tomorrow will open a Coffee, Sugar and Tea shop at Kullagatan No 27..." In this way the opening of the shop was advertised on November 30th 1886. Helsingborg was to get what would turn out to be a beautifully glimmering gem of its industrial life.

The shop was situated on the ground floor with a flat upstairs. The coffee roaster was placed in the attic where also the green coffee was stored. Shortly after the opening the roastery was moved into the cellar.

How do they think that this can be profitable was the public opinion. It turned out that all misgivings were groundless.

Carlos Zoéga died in 1888 and his wife; Maria took over the company. It was a very hard time and Maria was asked to sell the business, but fortunately did not accept. She later married Johan Svensson, but kept the family name Zoéga. Their son, Rudolf, turned out to be the person who would develop the business from handicraft to industry.

By the turn of the century the business and flat were moved to Drottninggatan, in the house where the Zoéga Coffee Shop still is situated.

1903 was a milestone in the company's history. Mollbergs Blandning (blend) was created and 15 years later Horns Blandning (blend), later on given the name "Skånerost". Both were epoch-making coffee blends and they still exist as spear heads on the market almost a hundred years later.

The knowledge of coffee that Carlos Zoéga had brought from Brazil was the framework that was managed and developed within the family in generation after generation. "to compose a coffee blend can be compared to composing music. The composition must have harmony to be good". This is how Rudolf Zoéga expressed the magic of blending coffee. He began to work in the company in 1913 and when his father died in 1923 he took over the role as the managing director and owner.

At the end of the 20's a new roaster was bought from America. This could roast up to 240 kilos of coffee at a time, but Zoégas was satisfied with 180 kilos-for one reason only: to achieve the highest possible quality.

This philosophy has permeated the company ever since the start. The emphasis on quality has been the line that Zoégas has always followed among and which the company has developed. And still does. Quality, tradition and consideration are the three key words by which the company is driven.

In 1952 the company was moved to Ängelholmsvägen to a completely newly built site with one of the most modern roasteries in Europe. The same site at which we work today, although the company is changing all the time.

Just inside the reception Rudolf Zoéga created something that might well serve as a symbol for the humanity that characterizes the company. "The room of stillness" a quiet room where only thoughts speak. At this time Rudolf Zoéga wrote to his faithful staff: "If we all help out and try to work with a clear conscience, I think the company will develop".

All this came true. During the first years in the new buildings 900 tons of green coffee was roasted. At the death of Rudolf Zoéga in 1970 the sales were 3500 tons. Another 20 years later the production exceeds 7000 tons per year.

After the death of Rudolf Zoéga, his daughter Thelma became the leader of the company, the third generation of the Zoéga family. Thelma Zoéga was well trained to manage the company as she had started assisting her father already in the 1940's. She ran the company according to his traditions.

In 1986, exactly one hundred years after the founding of the company, AB Findus or Svenska Nestlé AB which is the name today, took a majority share in Zoégas Kaffe AB. The acquisition was made possible as both companies emphasize the importance of quality. Among the coffee roasters in Sweden Zoégas has probably the highest demands as far as quality is concerned. We work hard to create high quality by choosing the green coffee beans very carefully and having very skilled personnel who take a genuine interest in the final product - a good tasting coffee.

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