Bremer Hafen

Our Story

The story of Schütte & Bünemann

The export company Schütte & Bünemann has existed for more than 100 years. As is common for such long-lived businesses, we have quite the eventful past. Our company has successfully weathered the ups and downs of the past decades. This is a result of not just our expertise, but also of our flexibility and commitment to our customers. International markets never stand still. Their constant evolution has always posed a welcome challenge.

Take a look back with us and learn some more about how our company became what it is today.

Firma um 1900

Company around 1900

Hafen Bremen

Bremen’s port around 1900

Kaffeeplantage

Coffee plantation “Bremen”, Colombia

Kaffeeverladung

Loading coffee, Colombia

 
 
 

The founding years

1891-1913 | Colombian coffee and tobacco

Our story begins in 1891. During a journey from Colombia to Germany, Lütje Gieseken met Franz and Carl Schütte, two financiers from Bremen. He convinced them that the export and import of Colombian products was a lucrative business idea. The company H. Schütte, Gieseken & Co. was founded on 26 January 1891 and did not take long to achieve good results. Consumers were especially interested in the large shipments of Colombian tobacco. The company also ran the coffee plantations “Berlin” and “Bremen” near Bucaramanga.
In 1892, Friedrich Herrmann Carl Bünemann was given full commercial authority and he became a director in 1894. For the next 44 years, he was in the charge of Schütte & Bünemann’s business operations – together with Georg Julius Schütte, who became a director in 1901, taking over from Hermann Georg Schütte. When Lütje Gieseken left the company in 1910, it was renamed Schütte, Bünemann & Co. on 01 April 1910. A branch was opened in New York to further expand the business.

Hacienda Bremen

Coffee plantation “Bremen”, Colombia

Hacienda Bremen

Coffee plantation “Bremen”, Colombia

Hacienda Berlin

Coffee plantation “Berlin”, Colombia

Hacienda Berlin

Coffee plantation “Berlin”, Colombia

Kaffeelager Rio Negro

Kaffeelager, Kolumbien

Carl Christian Bünemann

Carl Christian Bünemann and his wife Käti, Colombia

 
 
 

During the war

1914-1945 | Making it through hard times

The company was doing well. And then World War I broke out in 1914, severely impacting the economy. It took all of our strength to make it through these hard times. The company shed its legal status as a limited partnership, becoming a general partnership instead. Friedrich Hermann Carl Bünemann and Georg Julius Schütte were the partners.
Towards the end of the 1920s, Georg Schütte jun. moved to Colombia to work at the coffee plantations as a company representative. However, these plantations were lost during the Great Depression (1929 to 1933). In 1931, Carl Christian Bünemann, Friedrich Hermann Carl Bünemann’s son, went to Colombia. Partners Georg Julius Schütte and Friedrich Hermann Carl Bünemann began renewing their efforts to strengthen their oversea connections in 1933. They also established ties with other countries, renaming the company as Schütte, Bünemann Exportgesellschaft in the same year.
On 16 June 1936, Friedrich Hermann Carl Bünemann, lovingly called “Don Carlos” by friends and clients, passed away at 70 years of age. His passing made it necessary to set up a new partnership agreement, which was signed on 31 January 1938, making Georg Schütte the sole, personally liable partner. At the time, Carl Christian Bünemann had been working at various agencies in Colombia and returned to Bremen just a few days before the war against Russia broke out – and it took an adventurous trip via Japan and Russia.

Carl Christian Bünemann

Carl Christian Bünemann, Colombia, 1923

Carl Christian Bünemann

Carl Christian Bünemann, Colombia, 1923

 
 
 

A new approach

1946-1956 | Growing our export business

The company stopped focussing solely on Colombia after World War II and began to concentrate on establishing business relationships with the other countries in Latin America. Import operations continued, but at the beginning of the 1950s the company suffered dire losses on coffee and tobacco imports.
After 51 years in the company, Georg Schütte passed away on 18 October 1953. His son Georg Schütte jun. took over on 01 January 1953, assuming his place as the personally liable partner.
In 1955, the company discontinued its import operations. When Georg Schütte jun. left in March 1955, Carl Christian Bünemann remained as the only personally liable partner.
The company’s finances continued to deteriorate due to the losses incurred in previous years. On 08 February 1956, a new partnership agreement entered into force to stave off the looming threat of bankruptcy. Kulenkampff & Konitzky joined the company.

 

The third Generation

1957-2011 | Branching out to Africa, Asia, Europe and the Near East

Carl Richard Bünemann (Carl Christian Bünemann’s son) was employed by an import company and commercial agent in Arequipa, Peru, after finishing his training in 1956. After spending a year travelling through Latin America, he returned in April 1960 and was gladly accepted into the company. In 1962, he became a limited partner.
Export business to Latin America flourished and new ties were established. To this day, Carl Richard Bünemann spends three months of every year travelling through Latin America visiting his business partners and renewing their relationship of so many years. Returning to our story, the company’s financial situation improved drastically and allowed our current offices in the Kohlhökerstraße in Bremen to be purchased.
New business connections were forged on the most far-flung continents. Schütte & Bünemann now had important business partners in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Near East. The transit trade of products from Asia to Latin America grew in significance.
On 02 January 1982, Kulenkampff & Konitzky left the company after spending almost three decades as a limited partner. Then, on 14 June 1987, Carl Christian Bünemann passed away. He was 88 years old. Carl Richard Bünemann was now sole partner.

C. C. und Carlos Bünemann

C.C. and Carlos Bünemann

Office, 1962, Bremen

Office, 1962, Bremen

Carlos Bünemann, office, 1962, Bremen

Carlos Bünemann, office, 1962, Bremen

The company, 1974, Bremen

The company, 1974, Bremen

The company, 1994, Bremen

The company, 1994, Bremen

 
 
 

Present times

Schütte & Bünemann’s many leaders since 1891

zeitstrahl

 

Aiming to create a secure future for Schütte & Bünemann, its legal status was changed on 01 January 2005: Schütte & Bünemann registered as a GmbH & Co. KG in Bremen’s Commercial Registry. Carl Richard Bünemann is the limited partner – he has been at the helm of the company for a good 50 years by now. ANDINO Handelsgesellschaft mbH is the general partner.
Besides Carl Richard Bünemann, the managing directors are long-serving staff member Günter Monsees as well as Simon Sebastian Bünemann (Carl Richard Bünemann’s nephew). He has been working for Schütte & Bünemann since 01 June 2011 representing the fourth generation of Bünemanns.
Simon Sebastian Bünemann first completed vocational commercial training and then studied business before joining Schütte & Bünemann. He regularly travels in South America and India for extended periods to visit customers and hone his language skills. During his time at Schütte & Bünemann, he has already introduced a new logo and launched a new corporate website. The new logo not only contains the company’s name and a reference to its business segment of choice (“International Trading”), but it also makes use of various images to depict Schütte & Bünemann’s long, illustrious history: The pelican at the top has been part of the Bünemann family’s crest since 1649 and goes back to Jakobus Arnoldus Bünemann. The bird also represents the company’s internationality. Pelicans are thermal soarers familiar to all parts of the world; they fly and they swim; their wing-span is enormous; and they use their beak for transport. The Bremen key flanked by the digits of the company's founding year symbolize another aspect of company history in the new logo. Many Bremen based businesses use the Bremen key, which is part of Bremen’s coat of arms and was introduced in 1891, to show their roots.
Schütte & Bünemann is a proud family-led business based in the Hanseatic City of Bremen. Every day we prove our commitment to continuing our success story by dealing with markets all over the globe and always keeping an open mind for new developments.

 

 
Pelikan