In Summary
  • The multinational Del Monte Foods Corporation traces its history to a Californian food distributor who used the name for a premium coffee he manufactured exclusively for Hotel Del Monte.
  • Founded in 1912 by Clement Hirtzel, CMC Motors is the oldest vehicle distributor in Kenya. It was originally known as the Nairobi Motor Garage.
  • Brothers George and Charles Hurst founded Kenya Breweries in 1922.

DEL MONTE

Del Monte’s predecessor, Kenya Canners Ltd, was established in 1948. It was subsequently bought by the Del Monte Corporation and rebranded into the name it retains to this day.

The multinational Del Monte Foods Corporation traces its history to a Californian food distributor who used the name for a premium coffee he manufactured exclusively for Hotel Del Monte.

According to Erwin Gudde in his 1969 book, 1000 California Place Names, Del Monte means “of the grove”, given to the hotel in 1886 because of the beautiful oak trees nearby. Originally, “monte” meant “mountain” in Spanish, but in modern usage, it is taken to also mean “forest or brush”.

Del Monte rebranded into Cirio Del Monte Kenya Limited in 2002 after it was acquired by European food processing giant, Cirio Alimentare.

COOPER MOTORS CORPORATION
Founded in 1912 by Clement Hirtzel, CMC Motors is the oldest vehicle distributor in Kenya. It was originally known as the Nairobi Motor Garage.

CMC dealt specially in Ford vehicles, carrying the most popular model in Kenya at the time, the Ford Model T.

It was in 1948 that Nairobi Motor Garage was acquired by Allen and Cooper, who had come to East Africa to sell Land Rovers.

The company subsequently rebranded to the Cooper Motors Corporation Pvt Ltd. It is unclear why Allen’s name was not incorporated in the new name.

CMC became a public company in 1956 before it was restructured in 1971 as CMC holdings limited.

It was taken over by Benbros Motors in 1973 in a deal that offered access to British Leyland passenger cars and commercial vehicle franchises.

The year after, CMC added vehicle assembly to its portfolio following a deal with Leyland Kenya, now known as Kenya Vehicle Manufacturers or KVM.

KENYA BREWERIES LTD

Brothers George and Charles Hurst founded Kenya Breweries in 1922.

The following year, George was killed by a charging bull elephant in a hunting accident. In his memory, Charles named the first beer brand from the brewery “Tusker”.

The beer, whose identify mark is the head of an elephant, grew to become the company’s internationally recognised flagship brand. KBL acquired Tanganyika Breweries in 1935, three years after the latter had been founded.

The two merged to form the East African Breweries Ltd (EABL). The company reverted to its original name, KBL, in 1988, but it is today known as EABL.

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