1918 – 1939

Droste gains international renown

After the First World War, the production and revenue both slowly, but surely increase under the direction of Gerardus Johannes Droste Jr. At the end of the 1920’s, the firm is converted into a limited company: the N.V. Droste’s Cacao- en Chocoladefabrieken (Droste’s Cocoa and Chocolate Factories Ltd.). The company’s results are not the only thing moving upwards, the number of employees also increases steadily. Around 1930, more than 800 people are employed at the cocoa and chocolate factory at the Spaarne. The company by now also employs an additional staff of 25 travelling salespersons throughout the Netherlands, whose job is to promote Droste products to their buyers: specialty shops like confectioner’s, chocolatiers and patissiers. Internationally, Droste is also busy making a name for itself and the brand awareness quickly grows. Offices in London, Paris, Prague, New York, Chicago and Boston are established. In the twenties and thirties, Droste products are transported by ship and train to the most remote corners of the world. Both in Russia and in South-America, people are introduced to chocolate and cocoa from Haarlem.

In 1923, a new logo, called ‘the pastille man’, is designed for Droste by Jan Wiegman. Over the years, this logo would manifest itself as the figurehead of Droste chocolate.

The economic crisis of the thirties does not fail to affect Droste. In 1932, the company is forced to shorten the working week from 48 to 42,5 hours. Gerardus Johannes Droste Jr.’s passing in 1936 is an additional blow. He had run the business for years with great distinction. His widow, Mrs. H.J. Droste-Savrij, is named president and CEO in 1937.