Nessim Joseph Douek was from that school and culture that believed that business could be done on a handshake. A skilled international merchant, Nessim was already forging relationships in the 1930s and 1940s with producers of various commodities around the globe. Trading from Hong Kong and then Japan before settling in Montreal in 1951, Nessim quickly established his reputation for quality and reliablity. Importing primarily coffee and tea in the 1950s, he would eventually focus on the growing needs of coffee roasters in the U.S. and Canada.
At roughly the same time that the company was founded, in 1951, Raoul Douek was completing his studies at a prep school in New Jersey and anxiously getting ready to go on to the Wharton School of business. His plans were cut short however as he was persuaded to go on instead to Mc Gill University in Montreal, where his family resided, and then on to the family business. Raoul continued the tradition for quality and excellence, importing coffees from the four corners of the globe. Some of the qualities he was already bringing in during the early years have only recently been embraced by a wider audience, and are now dubbed as 'specialty' coffees. From the very beginning, his relentless cupping and attention to quality have earned him a reputation for expertise in green coffee that is equaled by very few in the coffee industry.
Prior to completing his Bachelor of Commerce degree, Phil worked for coffee distributors in the Montreal area. While curious to understand the ultimate consumer, he was fascinated from an early age with the family business and all its facets. After 26 years of cupping, trading and travelling to origin, Phil's passion for coffee is even stronger today than it was the day he started.