On 23 April 1896, on the initiative of Adolf Vinnen, a group of ship-owners and merchants from Bremen founds the "Deutsche Dampffischerei-Gesellschaft NORDSEE". The company's fishing fleet begins with seven fishing trawlers. The objective is to provide fresh fish to non coastal areas in the quickest way possible. In the same year the first NORDSEE sales outlet opens in Bremen.
Two years after the catastrophic fire, new facilities on an enormous scale open in Nordenham. This combination of warehouse, processing and despatch halls is ultramodern for its time and is the pride of the company. Meanwhile, the NORDSEE fishing fleet has grown to 46 vessels, manned by 600 seamen. A further 200 workers are employed in 20 branch stores.
At the out break of the First World War NORDSEE must hand over 27 of its 40 fishing trawlers to the German Navy. In the course of the war 15 of these are destroyed. Following the war five more trawlers sink after striking mines.
This year sees the beginning of mergers between several offshore fishing companies on the Lower Weser river and the Elbe estuary. The company's new name is "NORDSEE Deutsche Hochseefischerei, Bremen-Cuxhaven". In the same year NORDSEE begins fishing in the waters off Greenland.
In order to further expand its leading position within the sector, the business is restructured at the end of the year: the restaurant and retail divisions, which had previously operated separately, are brought together under common management.
The London-based investment company Apax Partners & Co. buys all the shares in NORDSEE in Germany and Austria from Unilever. NORDSEE Holding GmbH is founded as a holding company for the previous NORDSEE GmbH and all its subsidiaries.
The youngest member of the NORDSEE family opens. The products offered by a NORDSEE snack shop are crusty baguettes, snack boxes, fresh salads and soft drinks - quick to take away or to enjoy right there and then. This new concept will subsequently be found in city centres and wherever people need something quick and healthy to eat between meals.
The network of NORDSEE stores is expanded. For the coming years, the objective is to continually increase the number of stores in Germany: a big step towards meeting the demand for NORDSEE products. Many existing stores will continue to be renovated and redesigned to incorporate state-of-the-art design and technology. Not only does NORDSEE expand in Germany, but many stores are opened or refurbished in Austria as well. NORDSEE opens the first Seafood Buffet in Zurich's main train station. Further sites, e. g. Winterthur, will follow.
On 25 may, in Bremerhaven's Columbus Center, the first Beach Café was successfully integrated into a NORDSEE Restaurant. The new concept of the Beach Café generates great enthusiasm. The Beach Café offers a wide variety of coffee specialties and hot drinks, home made cakes, a full breakfast menu, and snacks such as open sandwiches on rustic natural sourdough bread.