Mr Egberts and Ymke Jacobs Visser got married in 1775, and in 1780, at the age of 25, he started helping his parents to run the now internationally successful family business. With mother, father, and son at the helm, the business grew in leaps and bounds.
Despite the fact that Egbert Douwes was a well-known figure in Joure, it was his son Douwe Egberts, who was responsible for expanding the business into other surrounding areas and it is for this reason that the family business was eventually called Douwe Egberts Coffee. Douwe Egberts decided to spread the company out even further, to other parts of the country, and opened a branch in Utrecht.
Their Coffee quality seal, which started out as a wax seal in the early days of the company, was first used as part of a packaging design for tobacco, in 1925. Through the years, the seal has appeared in other colours as well, such as yellow, green, gold, and blue, mainly to show the different qualities of various products.
In 1928, the company celebrated its 175th year in business. For 2 days, the entire Joure community joined in the celebrations, which started with a Holy Mass, a parade down Midstreet – where the company first opened its doors, and ended with a spectacular display of fireworks.
In 1929, just ten years after first opening in Utrecht, the company expanded by purchasing a factory as well as accommodation. This building, situated on Merwede Kade, is still in operation as the Douwe Egberts Coffee Company, more than 80 years later.
In 1940, during World War II, coffee was unobtainable, which prompted the government to come up with a substitute. Dutch coffee roasters began producing this substitute coffee, which consisted of ingredients like beans, chicory, peas, barley, tulip bulbs, and acorns. Douwe Egberts Coffee manufactured and sold 68 million packets of this substitute coffee, which they called Fama, until production stopped in 1952.
In 1954, and Douwe Egberts Coffee realized how popular instant coffee was becoming, and produced their own brand called Moccona in the Netherlands, in that same year. Years later, in 1993, the Douwe Egberts research and development department came up with still more products, in the form of cappuccino and latte instant coffees.
Their television commercial was one of the first to be aired in the Netherlands in 1967, which highlighted the fact as to how drinking coffee could help to get people together socially.
There were many developments in the company from 1978 to 2001, including their alliance with the Sara Lee Corporation, their development of an artificial sweetener, as well as the launch of the famous Senseo machine. The company celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2003 in the Netherlands, with enormous celebrations, as a gesture of thanks to employees and consumers, for their contribution to the success of the company.