The Patriot story begins around the turn of the millennium in the freshly independent (former Soviet Union) country of Georgia. Our founder Eric van Duyn was working in Tiblisi, managing a cigarette factory. At the time, due to the sudden shift towards independence, the atmosphere in Georgia was quite volatile and unsafe, as a result of which Eric spent much of his days working.
Having formerly created the bestselling brand “Pirveli”, Eric was aware what success a meaningful brand could create. It was during one of the late evenings at the factory whilst devising new strategies, ideas and brands that Eric came up with the name Patriot. Together with his design team, they formulated the unique visual characteristics to truly capture the sentiments of the brand. At the time, Patriot cigarettes looked quite different than today – a more classical military look and feel. Due to various circumstances, Patriot had to be put aside for the time being.
Fast forward to 2017 and the original drawings of Patriot are discovered by Eric’s wife. After digitising these old copies Eric decided to revisit launching the brand, but this time with a different mindset. He got his son Florian involved and they jointly devised the unique umbrella concept. They spent an entire year searching for the right supply partners to ensure all products are made in the best quality possible.
After several years of laying the ground works for the brand, in 2019 Patriot was finally launched across various regions.
The source of Patriot stems much deeper than working late nights. It comes from a deep-rooted sentiment acquired by Eric whilst serving his country. During the Cold War Eric spent 2 years on the East German border as Tank Commander of the of the 43rd Battalion. He then was selected to become fighter pilot in the Royal Netherlands Airforce joining the officers education.
Having spent near to 4 years serving the Royal Netherlands Armed Forces, Eric acquired a profound passion for his homeland, one that never left him. This feeling is what served as the core inspiration for Patriot. However, more than just being an inspiration, pride and love for the homeland is what serves as an elementary building block of the brand in its overall brand message. Patriot is about being appreciative and affectionate of where one belongs.
Serving as an additional building block for Patriot and its most critical tobacco components is the heritage of the family van Duyn. The family traces its industry relevant roots all the way back to the 18th century. Towards the very end of the Dutch Golden Age, the van Duyn’s established their first pipe manufacturing workshop.
The workshop grew over the years to accommodate more than 20 workers, all hand-crafting the famous “Gouda” pipes from clay. The family business was so renowned they even went onto export their pipes outside of The Netherlands. The van Duyn pipe crafting company lived on for approximately 200 years until the end of World War II. The end of an era arrived when cigarettes became the prevalent means of smoking.
The long-running heritage remains a constant inspiration for the latest generation of van Duyn’s in their efforts to establish a global tobacco corporation.