Old PZ photo

Old PZ photo

1879 George Paterson and George Zochonis set up a trading post in Freetown Sierra Leone formerly known as P.Z

Paterson Zochonis

A Manchester-based trading and manufacturing company Paterson Zochonis.

During the 1870's George Henry Paterson, from Scotland, met George Basil Zochonis, a Greek. They worked together in the trading company of Fisher & Randall in Freetown,Sierra Leone. They became friends and in 1879 set up a trading post of their own. In 1884, their company was incorporated in Britain as Paterson Zochonis & Company. They had an office in Liverpool which dealt with West African exports to Europe - palm produce, groundnuts, coffee, hides, skins and timber - and imports of textiles and foods to Sierra Leone. Two years later they opened their head office in Manchester, at the heart of
the Lancashire cotton trade. Paterson Zochonis prospered and opened several new branches in Sierra Leone. The business expanded rapidly and in 1896 it opened offices in Liberia and Guinea. Three years later it opened offices in Nigeria, which was to become very important for trade. In 1920, Paterson Zochonis began to trade in Cameroon.

The company's success was based on its intimate knowledge of the West African market, its network of trading contacts and the high reputation of its goods. Although Paterson Zochonis did not manufacture any of its export goods, these goods were branded with its own trademarks. One of its major export commodities was wax printed cotton fabrics.