Oldest Business in the World

Oldest Business in the World

In the realm of business, where companies frequently experience short lifespans, there are notable establishments that have demonstrated remarkable longevity. These longstanding businesses, with histories extending over centuries, provide insight into history, tradition, and resilience.

Statistical data indicates that over one-third of the companies included in the esteemed Fortune 500 list in 1970 had ceased to exist in the business landscape by 1983. Factors such as mergers, acquisitions, financial difficulties, and the discontinuation of previously promising ventures were among the contributing factors to this trend.

Let’s explore the seven of the oldest businesses in the world:

7. Wedgwood (Established 1759)

Founded in: 1759
Location: England, UK
Still in operation: Yes

Wedgwood (Established 1759)Photo Source: Findlogovector

Josiah Wedgwood founded this English pottery and porcelain company in 1759, making it over 250 years old. Wedgwood is known for its pottery craftsmanship and timeless design, with creations like Jasperware continuing to captivate collectors worldwide.

Did you know?

Jasperware, one of Wedgwood’s iconic designs, features distinctive blue and white colors and is crafted from unglazed stoneware.

6. Château de Goulaine (Established 1000 AD)

Founded in: 1000 AD
Location: France
Still in operation: Yes

Château de Goulaine (Established 1000 AD)Photo Source: Wikipedia

Château de Goulaine holds the distinction of being one of the world’s most ancient wineries, tracing its origins back to the year 1000 AD. Situated in Haute-Goulaine, France, this winery has a history of crafting wines for well over a thousand years, contributing to the rich heritage of French viticulture.

Did you know?

Château de Goulaine produces a variety of wines, including Muscadet, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay.

5. Sean’s Bar (Established 900 AD)

Founded in: 900 AD
Location: Ireland
Still in operation: Yes

Sean's Bar (Established 900 AD)Photo Source: Wikipedia

Sean’s Bar in Athlone, Ireland, is recognized as the country’s oldest pub, with a history dating back to 900 AD. Over the centuries, it has been a cherished gathering place for locals and travelers, offering warm hospitality and live music.

Did you know?

Sean’s Bar has a tradition of allowing foreign visitors to place money on its walls, resulting in a unique money-covered decor.

4. The Royal Mint (Established 886 AD)

Founded in: 886 AD
Location: Wales, UK
Still in operation: Yes

The Royal Mint (Established 886 AD)Photo Source: Wikipedia

Established in 886 AD, The Royal Mint is the world’s oldest operating mint. For over a thousand years, it has minted coins for various rulers and governments.

Did you know?

The Royal Mint also produces coins for other countries, including New Zealand, Thailand, and Saudi Arabia.

3. St. Peter Stiftskulinarium (Established before AD 803)

Founded in: AD 803
Location: Austria
Still in operation: Yes

St. Peter Stiftskulinarium (Established before AD 803)Photo Source: Matador network

The St. Peter Stiftskulinarium in Salzburg, Austria, boasts a history dating back to before AD 803. It preserves culinary traditions while offering a menu that caters to modern palates.

Did you know?

The restaurant’s wine cellar holds a bottle of wine dating back to 1698, one of the world’s oldest bottles of wine.

2. Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan (Established 705 AD)

Founded in: 705 AD
Location: Japan
Still in operation: Yes

Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan (Established 705 AD)Photo Source: Wikipedia

Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan, nestled in the Japanese Akaishi mountains, is the world’s oldest hotel, established in 705 AD. it is recognized as one of the first independent businesses in the world. However, it was later acquired by Kongo Gumi, a construction company in 2006.  It blends ancient traditions with modern comforts. 

Did you know?

The inn uses hot spring water from the Hakuho Springs, which is believed to have therapeutic properties.

1. Kongo Gumi Co., Ltd. (Established 578 AD)

Founded in: 578 AD
Location: Japan
Still in operation: No (Became a subsidiary in 2006)

Kongo Gumi Co., Ltd. (Established 578 AD)Photo Source: Wikipedia

Kongo Gumi, a construction company established in 578 AD, was one of the world’s oldest construction businesses. It played a role in constructing Japan’s first Buddhist temple, the Shitenno-ji Temple, among other projects.

Did you know?

In 2006, Kongo Gumi became a subsidiary of a larger construction firm after 1,428 years in operation.


1. Can Wedgwood’s pottery and porcelain company in Staffordshire, England, be visited by the public?

Unfortunately, Wedgwood’s manufacturing facilities are not open to the public, but they do have visitor centers and flagship stores where their creations can be explored.

2. What types of wines does Château de Goulaine produce in Haute-Goulaine, France?

Château de Goulaine produces a variety of wines, including Muscadet, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay, catering to a diverse audience of wine enthusiasts.

3. Is Sean’s Bar in Athlone, Ireland, known for any specific traditional Irish dishes or drinks?

Sean’s Bar offers a quintessential Irish pub experience with a menu that includes classics like Guinness, Irish whiskey, and hearty Irish stew, allowing patrons to savor traditional Irish flavors.

4. Can tourists visit The Royal Mint in Llantrisant, Wales, UK, to see coin production?

Yes, The Royal Mint Experience in Llantrisant welcomes visitors, offering guided tours where coin production can be witnessed, along with insights into the mint’s history.


In a world where businesses often come and go, these ancient establishments have managed to endure. Their continued existence is a testament to their longevity and commitment. Whether enjoying wine at Château de Goulaine or admiring pottery at Wedgwood, one can appreciate not just products or services but also a rich piece of history.

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