In 1861, at the age of seventeen, Paul Cutajar started a trading business operating from his residence at 20 Strada Reale in Valletta. He initially imported wheat and cereals but was also active in the coal trade, even buying a steamer “Nave Elena” for this purpose.Business prospered and in 1865, he changed the name of the firm to P.CUTAJAR & CO. The new firm expanded rapidly, and several important distributorship agreements were concluded. Two of these MARTINI & ROSSI (1880) and BENEDICTINE (1886) exist to this day.Paul Cutajar died in 1897 leaving the business to his nephew, Arthur Zammit Cutajar. As Arthur was too young at the time of Paul Cutajar’s death, his father Francesco Zammit administered the business until 1907.
In 1905, P.Cutajar & Co was appointed the exclusive distributor for DEWAR’S WHITE LABEL Scotch Whisky. The company moved to offices in 12 St.Paul Street, Valletta in 1908. In the early part of the 20th century, the company’s main focus was in the ship agency business. In 1913 the company was the largest steamship agent in Malta, according to the historical book “Malta & Gibraltar” , handling 323 ships in that year.
In between the two world wars, the company concluded agreements with EASTMAN KODAK (1937) as Kodak distributor in the Maltese Islands. Arthur Zammit Cutajar passed away in 1958. His sons Alfred, Francis and George succeeded to the business. They became the first directors when the firm was turned into a limited liability company in 1958.
P. Cutajar & Co. Ltd has moved away from the ship agency business. It is now focused primarily on the importation, distribution and retailing of fast moving consumer goods. Many notable additions were made to the company’s portfolio over the years. Particularly noteworthy among them are FERRERO chocolates (1967) and LAVAZZA coffee (1987). In recent years, the company acquired the distribution rights for JP CHENET Wines, HIGHLAND SPRING Mineral Waters, PASQUA and BERSANO Wines, LAFITE ROTHSCHILD, PELLITO nuts, HAAGEN DAZS Ice Creams and now the latest addition is the operation of two SOLARIS designer sunglasses shops in Valletta and Sliema and COCCINELLE handbags in Sliema
In the early eighties, the company had out grown its premises in Valletta which had served the company for more than 75 years, and moved to custom built premises in Mriehel in 1986. P.Cutajar has since moved to another location in San Gwann.
The present management team of the P.Cutajar Group is composed of eight persons and includes two fourth generation members of the Cutajar family, and also two member of the fifth generation.
As the mission statement declares, the company strives to build profitable relationships with all its partners and it looks forward to many more years of successful trading.