100 YEARS OF HISTORY
1919 – 2019
In 1917 Carl Christensen immigrated to Seattle, Washington, from Norway. He worked as a newspaper reporter but after a short time on the West Coast moved to Brooklyn, New York. At the time Brooklyn had a large Norwegian immigrant community. In 1919 he started Carl Christensen & Co., Inc. and began importing and selling canned Norwegian fishballs – a popular item with the Norwegian immigrants. Sales were very good and he soon added more Scandinavian foods to his product line.
Severin A. Haram was another Norwegian immigrant who saw an opportunity in New York for the importation of Norwegian foods. Mr. Haram came from the municipality of Haram on the coast of Norway near Alesund. The municipality got its name from an old farm where the first church was built. The name was initially spelled Harhamarr and goes back to Old Norse meaning “rocky hill”. Today the municipality of Haram includes an industrial area where many of the Norwegian fish products imported by Haram-Christensen are processed.
In 1965 Carl Christensen & Co., Inc. merged with S. A. Haram & Co., Inc. and moved away from Brooklyn to the facilities of the latter in lower Manhattan. The new company was to be known as Haram-Christensen Corporation (HCC).
In 1987 Walter Seifert joined HCC and introduced a new line of German products. This necessitated a move away from Manhattan where conditions were no longer favorable for an import company that needed space for increasingly larger containers. The company was moved across the Hudson River to New Jersey. The 1990’s saw a significant growth period as more and more German products were added. The growth necessitated another move in 1993 to its current location and additional space was later added to that location.
The first two decades of the 21st century have offered many challenges to importers: New technologies and a new generation of online businesses with different needs and demands; one of the biggest recessions in US history; terrorism threats and major changes in regulations governing food safety. Simultaneously, there is a renewed awareness and interest in the “new cuisines” of Northern Europe where food is grown, processed, packaged and transported according to the highest standards of the food industry. Food with flavors that are simultaneously unique and adaptable, healthy and nutritional. HCC continues to grow with the changing times and the changing influences that has taken place in a primarily borderless Europe. Our products today blend together the flavors of Germany, the Scandinavian countries, Austria, Switzerland and France.
The HCC team