einar-willumsen-logo Einar Willumsen

einar-willumsen-logo Einar Willumsen

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120 years with Einar Willumsen

Then and now

This year we celebrate our 120th anniversary by looking through the decades. In 1901 the company was founded by Einar Willumsen at Frederiksborggade no. 4 in Copenhagen. Einar was a man who understood the market at that time. He had been a senior manager by one of the largest flavour producers in Copenhagen, and now he wanted to create his own and a better business. Today – 120 years later, the company still bears his name.

From the beginning he focused on making flavours and concentrates for beverages, ice creams, pastries and spirits. He began producing simple distillates of strawberries, raspberries, lemons and oranges followed by blackcurrants, pineapples and apples and other soft fruits. Citrus fruits were carefully peeled using hand-held equipment. Only the outer part of the peel with its essential oils was used at the factory in Copenhagen – and in 1904 also at the newly started factory in Malmö.

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1930-1940

World War 1, followed by the Wall Street Crash in 1929, and the chaos of the interwar years, struck a series of hard blows to commercial life, even in neutral Denmark. Import-dependent companies such as Einar Willumsen, whose products required everything from essential oils to imported juice concentrates, were badly affected.

Through the toughest periods, Einar Willumsen was forced to cut wages in order to survive, and some workers, therefore, left to seek positions elsewhere, but many workers chose to stay in spite of this. Those who chose to stay would eventually enjoy special recognition and gratitude, and when Einar Willumsen died, he bequeathed shares in the company to several employees.

1930-1940

World War 1, followed by the Wall Street Crash in 1929, and the chaos of the interwar years, struck a series of hard blows to commercial life, even in neutral Denmark. Import-dependent companies such as Einar Willumsen, whose products required everything from essential oils to imported juice concentrates, were badly affected.

Through the toughest periods, Einar Willumsen was forced to cut wages in order to survive, and some workers, therefore, left to seek positions elsewhere, but many workers chose to stay in spite of this. Those who chose to stay would eventually enjoy special recognition and gratitude, and when Einar Willumsen died, he bequeathed shares in the company to several employees.

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1920-1930

The head office was placed in Studiestræde 57 near the centre of Copenhagen city, Tivoli and Rådhuspladsen. In 1929 Einar Willumsen loses his battle with cancer and dies aged 57. He leaves the majority share to his sister Fanny Willumsen. The firm becomes a limited company. By the time Einar Willumsen died in 1929, his small firm had been transformed into a company with a million Danish kroner in share capital. However, his death came just as the Great Depression hit the world economy. Within only a few years the value of Denmark’s exports would fall by half and the country would face mass unemployment.

In the 1920s, several laws were passed in Denmark designed to ensure women’s equality with men in education and the workplace. Yet, just as in Sweden and other parts of the world, the proportion of women in powerful roles still remained small. Fanny must have been a strong role model for women in business and professional life during this time. She certainly proved a charismatic leader, with a firm stance on the direction the company should take. In her will, she wrote of the importance of the company’s continued focus on the production of flavours and essences.

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1910-1920

In 1918 Europe was paralysed by the battles of World War I. Millions of people were killed, as ever more deadly weapons were put into action around the world. Even though Denmark and Sweden asserted their neutrality and remained outside the conflict, the consequences of the war were keenly felt. The all-important Danish shipping routes had been blockaded and foreign trade abruptly cut off. Bread prices rose and the government introduced rationing on food and other products in the final years of the war. Einar Willumsen had run the business since 1901 with the full responsibility for the growing company.

As a businessman, Einar Willumsen was determined that the company should stand on its own feet. He was known for his meticulous checks on the company finances. When machinery and stock were purchased they were paid immediately. He insisted that all bills should be settled before the start of a new financial year on 1 January— even if the goods were delivered on 31 December. The company bank balance, stock, and accounts receivable were the only items to be recognized in the firm’s books. There were absolutely no loans. Everything had to be paid for in cash.

1910-1920

In 1918 Europe was paralysed by the battles of World War I. Millions of people were killed, as ever more deadly weapons were put into action around the world. Even though Denmark and Sweden asserted their neutrality and remained outside the conflict, the consequences of the war were keenly felt. The all-important Danish shipping routes had been blockaded and foreign trade abruptly cut off. Bread prices rose and the government introduced rationing on food and other products in the final years of the war. Einar Willumsen had run the business since 1901 with the full responsibility for the growing company.

As a businessman, Einar Willumsen was determined that the company should stand on its own feet. He was known for his meticulous checks on the company finances. When machinery and stock were purchased they were paid immediately. He insisted that all bills should be settled before the start of a new financial year on 1 January— even if the goods were delivered on 31 December. The company bank balance, stock, and accounts receivable were the only items to be recognized in the firm’s books. There were absolutely no loans. Everything had to be paid for in cash.

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We always consider our customer

At Einar Willumsen we consider our customers consumers and what we want the taste reaction to be. Our expertise is to combine science and our understanding of the market place to deliver the optimum results in our products.