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Meet the Hagens

Rolf C. Hagen was a pillar in the pet products industry who touched many lives with his generosity and compassion.

Rolf C. Hagen, Founder and Chairman of Rolf C. Hagen Inc., passed away suddenly yet peacefully at his home in Montreal surrounded by his loving wife Marianne and grandson Justin on Saturday, October 22, 2011. Read More

Remembering Rolf C. Hagen
11.09.32 - 22.10.11

meet the Hagen family

Meet the Hagen Family

Rolf C. Hagen was born in 1932, the third of 10 children, in a small seaside town in northern Germany. The spirit of ambition and adventure that first brought Rolf C. Hagen to Canada has evolved into a worldwide manufacturing and distribution network. More than 55 years later, his perseverance and commitment remain the foundation of Hagen company operations worldwide.

In Bordeaux, France, he negotiated passage on a small freighter where he worked in the kitchen at sea then helped unload cargo upon arrival in Newfoundland. His sights were set on the province of Quebec and just two days after arriving in Montreal, he established Rolf C. Hagen Inc. Within a few months, Rolf found Canadian and American customers for the tiny European manufacturers he had worked with in Germany.

A successful start for his new company in this new country convinced Rolf he made the right choice.

Soon after, his focus turned to the most significant import of his life: persuading the beautiful young woman he had met in Hamburg to join him in Canada. In 1959, Rolf Hagen married Marianne Koch.

While setting up his importing company in Montreal, Rolf developed a plan to grow specialty seeds for export back to Germany.

He spent time in Western Canada, selling his innovative ideas to the farmers in Sackatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. They believed in this ambitious young man and signed contracts that lasted for many years, providing precious capital to grow the business. During that time, Rolf C. Hagen Inc. introduced rapeseed and rich Polish sunflower seed, which are still major crops in Canada.

With Rolf C. Hagen Inc. growing bigger every month, the young entrepreneur looked for the only source of help he could trust – his brothers.

The arrival of Dieter in 1959, and Horst in 1963, brought new energy that grew the pet supply side of the business. Dieter’s likeable character and gift for customer service was put to good use in sales. He tirelessly built an excellent reputation for the company, earning his clients’ trust across North America and around the globe.

Horst, the youngest brother, applied his formidable skills to operations and purchasing and later focused his efforts on building manufacturing resources throughout Asia and Europe. Over the years Horst developed new pet products that became worldwide industry staples

Passing the torch

In 2004, with its roots deeply established in the pet industry and having grown and developed solid and far-reaching sales and distribution branches around the world, Rolf C. Hagen Inc. was ready to transition forward under the capable leadership of Rolf Hagen Jr., who had already been extensively involved in a wide number of company operations, including senior manager of international trade and global expansion, among many other senior roles.

The torch now having been successfully passed forward to the next Hagen generation, which also includes brothers Tom Hagen – Vice President of Administration – and Mark Hagen – Vice President of Nutrition and Manufacturing – the company is dedicated to carrying on the legacy, values and commitment to excellence that were exemplified so successfully by Rolf, Dieter and Horst.

Under Rolf Hagen Jr.’s leadership, Hagen has set a clear path forward with emphasis on continued product innovation and diversity, improved customer experience initiatives, comprehensive education programs and dedicated service.

Steeped in an enduring family tradition of genuine love and respect for pets, Hagen continues to be committed to earning the trust and loyalty of pet owners worldwide by providing safe, practical, convenient, and dependable life-improving solutions for pets.

Horst and Dieter Hagen
Rolf Jr. Mark and Tom Hagen
Rolf Hagen Jr
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