By 1951 Paul Bugge was an independent businessman selling cigars and tobacco products. His first shop was a vehicle with glass panels. In the course of time Paul Bugge acquired several tobacco shops in Schwenningen where the watch-making industry boomed.
Among these was the department store Merkur in Schwenningen’s city centre, dating back to the turn of the century. Merkur, a traditional grocery store, still used brass scales and weights to sell produce like cigars and loose coffee from far-off countries. Paul Bugge with his passion for cigars and reputation as a specialist for good quality tobacco products was soon known well beyond the city’s borders.
Paul Bugge used his influence in the interest of the retail sector in the whole region. Proof of his engagement in this field were numerous honorary posts he filled over time. From 1969 to 1989 Paul Bugge was chairman of the Trade and Industry Association. His involvement had a great impact on future developments in this institution.
He also put in much effort to unite the business sector in the municipal areas of Villingen and Schwenningen in one organisation. His efforts paid off when the Trade and Commerce Regional Association was established in 1992.
As Vice-President of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) Paul Bugge went out of his way to empower retail trading and met the challenge of rivalry with competitors himself by employing skilled staff.
Where necessary and at every possible occasion, in committees, boards and in public, Paul Bugge emphasised his guiding principles that as an “upright businessman” you have to be an expert in your field, which were and still is a basic principle of the company.
Meanwhile the tobacco and cigar merchant Paul Bugge, now known nationwide, was not only dealing with cigar wholesalers, he also reached out to the cigar industry and the manufactory in the Dominican Republic, laying the foundation for the direct import of premium cigars. Simultaneously Paul Bugge was involved in numerous social projects too.
In 1998 Paul Bugge retired from active business and handed the company over to Norbert Höldke.
In the year 2005 Paul Bugge died at the age of 82.