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Our History

"endurance leads to contuinity" - Josef Hartkorn 1st generation

Our History

„Ausdauer bringt Dauer“ Josef Hartkorn - 1. Generation

The secret behind our success?
"Create the vision for your entire life, because you will turn into the things you believe!" Will it be easy? No for sure it won't! However, we have already been pursuing our goals for more than 100 years, so we do know: It is worth the trouble!

On the 1st april 1920, the enterprise “Josef Hartkorn & Sohn” was found, but little did Josef and Anton Hartkorn know that their enterprise would still be running successfully today. The first products made by the druggist Anton Hartkorn were baking powder and vanillin sugar, but many other medicinal herbs and spices has quickly followed and have turned in our core business. Accompany us on a short way through our history...



On the April Fools’ Day in 1920, the company “Josef Hartkorn & Sohn” was found – no joke!


There is too much work to be done! Our boss needs support, so our first assistant was recruited.


Each of our spices is bottled with TLC by hand, whereas workload increases: It’s time for our first spice mill. The working conditions in 1925 are hard, so we have no other choice than to hire FEMALE workers.


Each of our customers orders are delivered by our boss himself, but the distance between our company and the customers starts to become further and further. Thus this, our first travelling salesman is hired.


The number of interested customers increases rapidly. The problem? Many of them are located far away from our company. Therefore, our first touring car is bought which also enables us to reach customers in Austria quarterly.


We enlarge our assortment and start selling baking, pudding and gravy powder.


Better safe than sorry: We introduce our 2-shift operation


We just don’t care about grown-ups, also kids love it so, the happy world of Hartkorn: We start selling our infant food “Hartkoso”. Times then get harder: The 2nd World War breaks out and all of our employees are conscripted and touring cars are drafted for military service. The country comes to an economic halt.


Big cities of millions as well as Coblence lie in ruins. The hard work manages to keep up despite high physical strain and emotional distress. We stay strong and hold on!


Just a few years later, we already start to operate again with 30 employees and focus on our set-up and expansion.

post-war years


We are hard workers: A second plant focussing on pudding powder is built in Marktbibart.


Impressive! 19 years old Hans-Dieter Hartkorn takes over the company after the sudden death of his father Anton.


Hans-Dieter Hartkorn recognises quickly that our assortment needs to change. He focusses consequently on spices that turned into our core business.


More and more of those called "supermarkets" replace mom-and-pop stores. Hans-Dieter realises that our assortment needs a considerable increase and creates our cans and maxi bags which support our previous flat bags and can be bought in those new supermarkets.


All-round success: Our first filling machine for cans which works automatically is bought.


All of our bags were filled by hand over the years, so it's time to get our first filling machine for bags. A true innovation!


Our previous plastic cans are replaced by aluminium ones: The aroma safe is born and ensures that the flavour remains for a long time and our spices are kept away from light. Apart from the improved lid, this aroma safe exists until today and remains our top product in supermarkets!

current situation


Like father, like son: Even Dr. rer. Nat. Andreas Hartkorn has found his way to spices and supports the team from now on.


The continuous growth is never-ending! Our administration moves for the first time.


Four: the winning number! Simone Lautensack who has meanwhile become Simone Hartkorn joins our team and supports the purchasing as well as product development.


We are bursting at the seams! Our production facility has been the maternity room for many of our products for long, but our output has become too big. So, we move into a former bakery which is rebuilt and redecorated for more than a year. In this new place of production, our products are produced on several production lines for all it’s worth!


The growth is never ending and both our team and assortment has gotten smart increment. We are already looking forward to our move at the end of November, with our administration and storage being moved to our new building located in Mülheim-Kärlich. Exciting!