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Cotterell celebrates 100 years.

Cotterell celebrates 100 years

HD. Cotterell stands for specialists in storing, supervising, weighing, controlling, sampling and forwarding. Coffee and cocoa are by far the most important goods the company handles.

It all began when Harry Dougan Cotterell emigrated to Hamburg and founded the company H.D. Cotterell on February 15th, 1890. His father, Harry Cotterell, a well-to-do merchant in Liverpool, had asked his sons to earn their own livelihood, granting each of them a certain amount of money with the words "make something out of it."

At that time Hamburg was a member of the "Norddeutscher Bund" and "Freie Reichsstadt." It had been able to keep its status as free port. Between 1889 and 1913 foreign trade multiplied fourfold. Wilhelm II, Queen Victoria's grandson, dismissed his Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, terminated the neutrality treaty with Russia and made large parts of East Africa a German protectorate. Harry Dougan Cotterell saw this chance and realized it.

During World War I, he was placed in an internment camp for enemy aliens, being an Englishman, and his property was confiscated. After the war his eldest son, Harry Charles, reinstated and expanded the company in spite of inflation and a worldwide recession. Branch offices in Amsterdam, Antwerp and Rotterdam were established and later taken over by his young brother, Wilfred Max Cotterell. In 1939 contemporary history caught up again and brought renewed upheavel. Still, the family did not give up. Father, son, Harry Douglas, and H.C.P. Sahlmann, who became partners, made the company into what it is today. While the branches in Amsterdam and Rotterdam were sold, the office in Antwerp remains in the Cotterell family. In 1986 a branch office was set up in London.

Today, Margreth Cotterell is carrying on the business. Mr. Luhnen became managing director. A well-trained staff of 30 ensures that the business is run efficiently. The employees feel responsible as if being part of the family. It has always been the company's policy to integrate them in the company. For Mrs. Cotterell the close and direct contact with the customers confiding their goods to H.D. Cotterell is very important.

And now the fourth generation, the two sons of the family, are waiting in the wings to carry on the tradition of business and family.
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Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:history of a family coffee storage and handling company, H.D. Cotterell
Author:Kuhrt, Cornel
Publication:Tea & Coffee Trade Journal
Date:Mar 1, 1990
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