Officially, Peter Kölln exists since 1820. However, the generation of founders showed entrepreneurial spirit already before that time. In 1795, Hans Hinrich Kölln (1770-1812) bought a small horse-driven grain mill. From Elmshorn he supplied seafarers heading for Greenland with ship's biscuits.
After the death of Hans Hinrich Kölln, his wife Metta ran the business. Peter Kölln
(1796-1858) took over the business from his mother and turned out to be a capable businessman. In 1820 he founded today's food company Peter Kölln, thus laying the foundation for the following generations.
In the meantime, the second Kölln generation has taken control. Peter Ferdinand Kölln (1838-1886) believes in technical progress. He replaces the old horse-mill by a steam engine. In the following years, the company developed from a grain wholesaler to an important processor of oats.
Peter Albert Kölln (1864-1918) is the third generation to run the company. He is characterised by volunteering and his dedication to community works. One of his numerous political and social commitments is the founding of the Schleswig-Holstein Grain Traders Association, where he engages strongly for their interests.
The fourth generation reaches a decisive milestone in the company's history: Peter Klaus Diedrich Kölln (1890-1956) launches his oat flakes in a practical household pack on the market. In each pack there are collectible picture cards with fairy tale motifs – a real stroke of marketing genius at that time. In 1938, Peter Klaus Diedrich Kölln registered the "Blütenzarte Köllnflocken" (delicate oat flakes) as a brand.
The upswing and tragic events are closely related in the troubled times of the following years. Peter Klaus Diedrich Kölln leads the company through inflation, the global economic crisis and the Second World War. A major fire in 1926 destroys large parts of the production area. The Kölln family resolutely begins with the reconstruction and production can be started again just a year later.
After six months of imprisonment, Ernsthermann Kölln (1923-2020) returns to Elmshorn in November 1945. His older brother Peter Max Markus had fallen in war. The father Peter Klaus Diedrich Kölln thus hands over the corporate management to his second-born son.
Ernsthermann Kölln continues to drive the success of the company in the fifth generation. With catchy TV spots, he secures his Kölln flakes a permanent place on the breakfast table. More success also means: expansion is required. In 1962, the new office building and the distinctive light- and dark-blue oat silos are built under his direction.
Ernsthermann Kölln is not only a pioneer in the field of TV advertising. As muesli became increasingly popular at the end of the 1970s, Peter Kölln was at the cutting edge. The practical Kölln muesli mixes are on the supermarket shelves since 1976. This is also the birth of the most popular muesli in Germany up until now: Kölln’s chocolate muesli.
At the beginning of the new millennium, Prof. Dr. Hans Heinrich Driftmann (1948-2016) takes over the management of the company from his father-in-law Ernsthermann Kölln. He constantly drives growth and expands the product range and production capacities. At the same time, he introduces modern management systems, thus underlining the commitment to reliable and sustainable quality.
In addition to expanding the Kölln range, Hans Heinrich Driftmann also puts acquisition on the agenda. Livio, Biskin, Palmin, Becht’s and Edelweiss milk sugar have been part of the Peter Kölln family since 2004. Mazola joined in 2014. With these traditional brands, Peter Kölln is expanding its business and proving its competence as a successful brand company.
Mix the muesli yourself. Design your desired label. Enjoy with family and friends. The ‘Haferland’, opened in Hamburg in 2014, is a meeting point for everyone who loves Kölln’s products. And because it is so well received, the "little" ‘Haferland’ in Westerland on Sylt opens in 2017.
The 7th generation of the owner family has temporarily withdrawn from management and acts as an active owner family.
Peter Kölln celebrates a major anniversary and sets the course for a successful 3rd century.