The Joseph Barry Story
An Entrepreneur Arrives
Joseph Barry was an entrepreneur of the highest order. English by birth, with an early education in all things wine and spirit in Europe, he settled in the Cape Colony in 1817. He was quick to set up a trading company in the Swellendam area of the Klien Karoo, pushing merchandise from the area down the trade routes to Cape Town.
By River And Sea To The Cape
Frustrated at how slow overland travel to the Cape was from the Karoo, he quickly took to the waters and facilitated a much quicker and more effective transportation route, via Malgas on the Breede river, and along the coast from there to Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. The SS Kadie was the pride of his Fleet.
The Quest For A Better Brandy
Barry's entrepreneurial spirit soon built him a business empire, with trading posts up and down the Breede River and the small Karoo town that shares his namesake. It brought him his own currency standard, a local bank, and importantly, allowed him to help develop the struggling brandy industry in the area. Something very close to his heart, he was always encouraging farmers to improve the quality of their wine and brandy distillate, and doing everything in his power to help them through trade.