Droste Story

In the summer of 1863 Gerardus Johannes Droste opened his confectionery business in Haarlem, Holland. Customers would buy a cup of water chocolate and various types of candy, such as chocolate pastilles, called “Pastilles Droste”. Droste established a great reputation for his chocolate and as a result, the first Droste factory opened up on August 2nd 1890, under the name G.J. Droste. Since 1891 Droste would completed the entire chocolate process in house. Due to lack of space the factory was moved to Noorder Buiten Spaarne in 1891. It was in this plant that production of cocoa and chocolate started. The waterside location was ideal, enabling Droste to receive raw materials and ship its finished product by boat.

On March 1st 1897, Gerardus Johannes Droste handed the control of the Droste plant to his sons. By that time, Droste’s assortment had grown to numerous chocolate figures, pastelles, cocoa and their famous chocolate initials. Despite severe competition from well known chocolate manufacturers, at home and abroad, Droste continued to win market share. In 1898 Droste was officially entitled to use the coat of arms of Queen-Widow Emma. By the turn of the 20th Century, Droste started exporting to Belgium, Germany and France to further increase sales. Soon this extended to other countries and in 1905, Droste entered the American Market. Around the 1900’s, the illustration of the “nurse” appeared on Droste’s cocoa tins. It was probably invented by the artist Jan (Johannes) Musset and inspired by a pastel of Swiss painter Jean Etienne Liotard’s (La serveuse de chocolat”, also known as “La belle chocolatiere”. The illustration indicated the wholesome effect of chocolate milk and was inextricably bonded to the Droste name.

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Droste Dutch Chocolate

$3.50 - Droste Bittersweet Chocolate Pastilles - In a hexagon Tub. Net Wt. 3.5oz or 100g.
Note: Minimum single order is Four.

$3.50 - Droste Extra Dark Chocolate Pastilles - In an hexagon Tub. Net Wt. 3.5oz or 100g.
Note: Minimum single order is Four.

$3.50 - Droste Milk/White Chocolate Pastilles - In an hexagon Tub. Net Wt. 3.5oz or 100g.
Note: Minimum single order is Four.

$3.50 - Droste Milk Chocolate Pastilles - In an hexagon Tub. Net Wt. 3.5oz or 100g.
Note: Minimum single order is Four.

$3.50 - Droste Bittersweet/Milk Pastilles - In a hexagon Tub. Net Wt. 3.5oz or 100g.
Note: Minimum single order is Four.

$3.50 - Droste Milk Orange Pastilles - In a hexagon Tub. Net Wt. 3.5oz or 100g.
Note: Minimum single order is Four.

$10.95 - Droste Cocoa - Imported from Holland, Droste Cacao is ideal for baking or a cocoa drink. Kosher product for year round use.

Droste Story Continued Below
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Droste Pastilles Bittersweet - Droste Pastilles Extra Dark - Droste Pastilles Milk/White - Droste Milk Orange Pastilles - Droste Cocoa - Droste Is A Product Of Holland

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Droste Story Continued:

Due to health reasons, Jan Coeraad Droste, the son of founder Gerardus Johannes Droste retired in 1909. At the same time business for Droste was on the climb and the number of employees increased steadily. However, during the First World War, Droste was faced with a shortage of raw material, causing serious production difficulties. From 1918 to 1939, Droste would become a world famous brand name under the leadership of Geradus Johannes Droste junior. By the end of 1920, Droste became a limited company (N.V.), Droste’s Cacoa-en Chocoladfabrieken N.V. with both trading results and employees on the increase. By 1930, more than 800 people and twenty five salespeople were employed by the chocolate factory in Spaarne. With the growth of the name Droste, came expansion all over the world, with offices in London, Paris, Pargue, New York, Chicago and Boston. From 1920 to 1940, ships and trains were transporting Droste products all over the world, from Russia to South Africa. In 1923, a new logo designed by Jan Weigman, the pastille-man, would become the standard bearer of Droste. The stock market crash of 1932, caused Droste to reduce its work week from 48 to 42 ˝ hours. The man who managed Droste successfully for so many years Geradus Johannes Droste junior, died in 1936 and his widow Mrs. H.J. Droste Savrij, became chairwoman in 1937.

During World War Two bombardment by Allied aircraft, caused considerable damage to the cardboard department and production and sales of Droste declined and eventually stopped. After the war Droste recovered from the damage, however did not start exporting due to a lack of raw materials. Five years later, Droste was once again able to start supplying quality products at home and abroad. In 1947 Jan and Martinus Droste, the grandsons of the founder, were appointed managers. Under their management business improved and by the early 1960’s Droste had a workforce of over 1000 employees. The factory was now running at full capacity and 40 percent of production was being exported to 60 countries. In 1964 a new factory was opened and received royal designation. The new fully automated factory changed its name to Koninklijke Droste Fabrieken N.V.. However, a huge rise in production cost would cause problems at Droste.

In 1975 the inheritor, Widow J. Van Nelle, took over the share capital of Droste and the family business became part of a fast expanding food/tobacco group. The joint proprietor of Van Nelle, was Standard Brands incorporated in New York. However, the world famous name of Droste continued as a trademark within the food/tobacco group. By 1977, Droste’s ownership was transferred to Standard Brands incorporated and since it was transferred to an American company, the royal title was taken away from Droste products. The name was now changed to Droste Fabrieken B.V. by 1985 and Van Nelle separated from Standard Brands, which was taken over by Nabisco. In 1986 Droste production was transferred to Vaassen, Gelderland and the new factory opened in Vaassen in 1988. However, the old production site continued to make Dutch Cocoa. Also in 1988 Van Nelle was taken over by Sara Lee/D.E. and two years later the Dutch sugar/ food concern CSM, bought Droste. The management tried to rejuvenate Droste with dynamic and progressive commercials. On January 1st 1997, Droste was sold to the Swiss based company Hosta and is still situated in Vaassen, Geldeland. Since then sales have increased and Droste had become one of the biggest users of cocoa in Holland with 65% of sales exported to over 20 countries.

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