J.P.A. Espersen, the founder of A. Espersen A/S, was born as the eighth child of a Northern Jutlandish fisherman in 1894. Already at the age of 8, J.P.A. Espersen had to work as a shepherd. In 1907 - at the age of 12 - he started fishing from the port of Glyngøre, and later on he moved to Århus.

In 1919 he married Dagny, and shortly after their wedding, they started a wholesale fish company in Århus. This was the forerunner of A. Espersen A/S.

With an eye to the future, J.P.A. Espersen envisaged that the volume of raw fish landed at Århus would be insufficient to justify expanding the company at some later date. Therefore, he began to negotiate with fishermen as well as with the then mayor of Rønne, Niels Nielsen, who thus made a major contribution to the industrialisation of the Bornholm fishing trade.

The result was that in 1937, the Espersen family decided to move to Bornholm. They initiated co-operation from 150 fishermen in the south and west of Bornholm. Thus in October 1937 Bornholm’s first cod fillet factory, with twenty employees, opened its doors for business.

The “Director J.P.A. Espersen and Mrs. Dagny Espersen Foundation” was established in 1971. The entire equity capital in A. Espersen A/S is owned by this foundation, which channels profits to further investment in the company, as well as to various charities.

The foundation is furthermore the guarantee that the company will remain an independent company.