During the great European depression of the early 1900ís, Christian Friedrich Scheidegger of Wyssachen (near Berne in Switzerland) set off to seek his fortune elsewhere. While working his way as a circus hand across the U.S. and China, he finally ended up in Sumatra (Indonesia), formerly known as the Dutch East Indies. After clearing the jungle on the land he purchased in Sumatra, he started a tobacco plantation. The success of his plantation soon afforded him the opportunity to bring his fiancČe Nadine Aufranc to join him in Indonesia from Switzerland to begin his family.
Christian Scheidegger soon realized that many families running similar plantations in Sumatra were lacking day-to-day necessities and luxuries both from home and abroad. He decided to establish the familyís first trading company, N.V. Handel-Maatschappij Scheidegger & Co. Under the name Toko Asahan, it operated as a department store offering the public one-stop shopping for not only necessities such as food and beverages, but also locks, keys, typewriters, sewing machines and even Studebaker cars. His business thrived but did not continue when World Word II began.
Son RenČ, born in 1921 and also a Swiss national did not leave Sumatra during World War II. Instead, RenČ worked for the International Red Cross helping to track displaced families of POWís in the many camps throughout Southeast Asia. After the war he joined one of the ěBig Fiveî Dutch trading firms, Geo Wehry as a sales rep. While Reneís knowledge of the local trade and language earned him an excellent sales record, he retained the same entrepreneurial spirit as his father, Christian so he decided to quit his job and begin his own trading business, which started from a phone booth! Reneís fluency of local languages and his knowledge of business cultures and practices strongly benefited his business. In 1947, one year after his son Bj–rn, the founder and current operator of Scheidegger U.S. was born, RenČ incorporated RenČ Scheidegger & Co. in Jakarta, Indonesia. In 1952 RenČ opened his first overseas branch, Handelsonderneming RenČ Scheidegger in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, which is now run by RenČís second son, Andrew Scheidegger.
In the following decades, Scheidegger Indonesia evolved into a distribution and marketing company called PT Eresindo Jaya Trading Company. Expanding even further the company opened offices in Singapore and Malaysia and to facilitate its imports from the U.S., the Scheidegger San Francisco office was incorporated in 1981. Capitalizing on its ties with U.S. suppliers and taking advantage of the many opportunities presented, Scheidegger Trading Co., Inc. now exports to nearly the entire Pacific Rim as well as parts of South America, the Middle East and Europe.
Much has changed in the past 80 years, but the same entrepreneurial spirit that started the business has been carried forward and will continue to drive Scheidegger Trading Co., Inc. in the future.
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351 California Street, Suite 1400, San Francisco, CA 94104-2429 USA