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Old Saigon Building of the Week: Former Nestlé Headquarters

The Swiss company Nestlé, founded in 1905 following the merger of Farine Lactée Henri Nestlé (1866) and the Anglo-Swiss Milk Company (1866), established its first trading office in Saigon in 1912.

The building which housed this first Magasin Nestlé & Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Co. at 5 Rue Vannier (Ngo Duc Ke) may still be seen today on the junction with Dong Khoi Street, the former Rue Catinat.

The first Magasin Nestlé & Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Co building at the junction of rue Vannier (Ngô Đức Kế) and rue Catinat (Đồng Khởi) still exists today.

The company grew significantly during the First World War years and by the 1920s the Société Nestlé was selling large quantities of evaporated milk, dairy products and chocolate to consumers in Indochina through its three offices in Saigon, Hanoi and Hai Phong.

A 1920s Nestlé poster for condensed baby milk. Photo via AntikBar.

Throughout the colonial period, the company’s Indochina headquarters remained in Saigon where, in the early 1930s, a new office building was inaugurated at 35-37 Rue Mac-Mahon (Nam Ky Khoi Nghia).


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One of the city's most stylish art deco structures, the old Nestlé headquarters was used for a variety of purposes after 1975, but is currently home to the Saigon Times Group.

The former Société Nestlé headquarters building today.

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Tim Doling is the author of the forthcoming book of walking tours entitled Exploring Ho Chi Minh City (Nha Xuat Ban The Gioi, Hanoi, 2014). For more information about Saigon history and Tim's tours visit his website, www.historicvietnam.com.

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