The company was begun in 1695 by Petrus De Kuyper as a manufacturer of barrels and casks used in the transportation of spirits and beer. By 1752, the family owned a distillery in Schiedam which was then the leading center for the production of Dutch gin or genever. In the 19th century, the company expanded its export business throughout Europe, Great Britain and Canada. In 1911, a new distillery was built in Schiedam and thereafter the production of liqueur began. The roster of flavors slowly expanded, and partnerships were formed with distillers in Canada (1932) and the United States (1934, strategically at the end of Prohibition). By the 1960s the production of liqueurs had overtaken the production of genever as drinks tastes changed and the promotion of liqueurs for use in cocktails induced a surge in sales.