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As the fourth generation at the helm, the family-owned company Verstegen Spices & Sauces can look back on a rich history. Even after the bombardments in Rotterdam, we were able to hold our own. Verstegen have been active in the herbs and spices sector for over 100 years.
Verstegen Specerijenhandel en Fabriek van Conserveermiddelen was founded by Mr Verstegen in Rotterdam in 1886. Mr Verstegen died in 1897. After his death, the company continued under the management of the two deputy managers: Messrs C. Diederik and J. Man in 't Veld. Under their management, the company engaged in the trade in spices, subtropical fruits and bakery raw materials.
The threefold division
Around 1914 Mr Diederik's eldest daughter was engaged to Mr F.P. Kersteman, who sold his painting business and joined his father-in-law Mr. Diederik. When the infamous anti-trust law was introduced in 1915, the Verstegen company was split into three parts:
• Company C. Diederik and Son (Bakery raw materials) under the management of Mr Diederik;
• Company J.H. Verstegen, under the management of Mr Man in 't Veld;
• Company Verstegen (Spice Trading and Factory of Preservatives), under the management of Mr Kersteman, who married Mr Diederik’s daughter in 1918.
Verstegen laid the foundation in his butcher's shop and sausage factory.
Especially in the years after the 1st World War, the company grew well. Despite the crisis years in 1932 and 1933, the company managed to keep their head above water. By providing quality, service and reliability, Verstegen acquired a large and loyal core of customers who guaranteed a steady growth of the company.
In 1939, Mr. B.J. Driessen (Jan Driessen's father) was employed as a representative. He married Mr. Kersteman’s daughter. A few years later, B.J. Driessen took over the company. This brought the first generation of Driessen at the helm of the company.
On 14 May 1940 jet-black clouds of smoke hanging over Rotterdam meant the start of the second world war. The company at Hugo de Grootstraat 104 was completely destroyed, with the exception of the safe holding the Verstegen recipes. Mr Kersteman managed to secure the recipes from this safe a few hours before the great bombardment of Rotterdam.
One year after the liberation on May 5, 1945, some raw materials slowly but surely were available again and a slow restart was made from a garage in the Hillegersberg district. It was not until six years after the end of WW II that we had our business premises in the Hoornbrekerstraat with a stock of quality raw materials.
Our international growth began in 1949, just across the border in Belgium, and in 1962 we also started exploring the catering and commercial kitchens sector.
After about twelve years, the Hoornbrekerstraat premises became too small. On December 30, 1964, our great new company premises at Giessenweg 62 were put into use. Today production is still taking place here.
On 30 November 1979, Mr B.J. Driessen retired as the director and owner of Verstegen and announced that his son Jan Driessen would take over.
In 2009 Michel Driessen, Jan Driessen's son, became the owner of the company, as the first of the third generation of Driessen.
More than 130 years of experience led to many changes over the years, but to this day we are known for three things: high quality, craftsmanship and reliability. We are active in more than 30 countries around the world, from supermarkets to industry. A wide variety of the purest herbs and spices and the tastiest mixes, sauces and marinades.