1. und 2. Generation 1908 - 1963

It all began in Cologne, the city with over 2000 years of history, culture, cosmopolitanism and tolerance. In 1908, Nikolas Jakob Heinrichs and his wife Katharina opened their first pipe and tobacco shop in Marzellenstraße. The people of Cologne were very pleased to be able to buy their pipes, cigars and tobacco needs from Pfeifen-Heinrichs from then on. The two sons, Peter Sr. and Leo Heinrichs, helped out in the shop at an early stage after successfully completing their schooling and training as merchants. They shared the work in the main shop and the branches in Machabäerstraße and Komödienstraße that had been added in the meantime.

At the brothers' instigation, a tobacco goods wholesaler was founded on Heumarkt. After the death of their father Nikolas Jakob Heinrichs in 1925, the brothers Peter Heinrichs senior (17 years old) and Leo Heinrichs (15 years old) continued the business of Pfeifen-Heinrichs. Until the beginning of World War II in 1939, Peter Sr. and Leo had managed to run their business successfully. In the same year, the pipe and tobacco trade in all shops came to a standstill - the shops were closed. They found themselves in hard times and had to get through the war years more poorly than well with small trading activities, "klüngeln" on Kölsch. However Peter Sr. succeeded, whether thanks to the many contacts to Cologne and later also to Bonn politics or to the many friends and Cologne "celebrities", i.e. to the complete circle of the "Klüngels" of that time, he knew how to use his business skills successfully. Even though Peter Heinrichs Sr. did not own a shop at that time, he was still "always in business" and could deliver tobacco and cigarettes at any time. Of course, all this was of great importance in order to be able to feed his family of four, which had grown during the war. After two daughters, Anna Heinrichs gave birth to a healthy boy on 17 April 1946. The parents named him Peter.

It was not until 1947 that the brothers Peter Sr. and Leo thought of opening a joint specialist tobacco shop. The intention came true and they opened a specialist tobacco shop in Markmannsgasse, not far from Heumarkt. A little later, they moved to the corner of Heumarkt 46 and Gürzenichstraße. Everything around was still in ruins, including the Gürzenich. The citizens of Cologne set about rebuilding their city. Slowly, life returned. New business ideas were implemented at Pfeifen-Heinrichs. Creative advertising ideas were developed to attract customers. Guessing games such as "How many pipes are in the window?", "Who is the oldest pipe smoker around Cologne?" with the corresponding prizes such as "tobacco annuity" or "new pipe", "Exchange/trade-in old pipes for new ones", etc. In the meantime, there was already an extensive clientele in Germany and far beyond. Orders placed all over the world, simply addressed to Pfeifen-Heinrichs Köln reached their destination. Branches were opened in the archway of the Hohenzollern Bridge and in Komödienstraße (today the city of Cologne's transport office). The Pfeifen Heinrichs business continued to do well.
Peter Heinrichs Sr. was living beyond his means. The Cologne motto "Et hät immer noch jot jejange" no longer applied to him. He died on 18 January 1962 at the age of 54. His son Peter Heinrichs was only 15 years old at the time and was already in his second year of training in his parents' business. Peter was very saddened by his father's death, and alongside all the grief came the inevitable question: "what will happen now?" The relationship with his uncle Leo Heinrichs was very good and balanced and so, with the approval of the Cologne Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Peter was able to successfully complete his apprenticeship as a wholesale and foreign trade merchant in the tobacco shop that Uncle Leo had newly opened at Martinstraße 15-20 opposite the Gürzenich. His claim from his father's estate, as well as that of his mother, had already been invested in the new business beforehand. It also started off well at first, Uncle Leo supporting him greatly. He showed him the ways that were necessary to be able to run the business in the future. He became more and more familiar with the business and in addition to the many customers and friends of Peter Heinrichs sen., contacts were now also made with the authorities of the city of Cologne and many well-situated business people. The central location and easy accessibility of the shop contributed significantly to this. The knowledge gained from the extensive customer service was to become very important for Peter's career on his later path to self-employment. Overflowing conflicts with Uncle Leo's sons caused Peter to leave the business and become self-employed at the age of seventeen.

3. Generation 1963 - 1974

Peter Heinrichs, a trained wholesale and foreign trade merchant, set up his own business as a tobacco goods wholesaler in 1963, one year after the death of his father. The family disputes from the family's main business, Pfeifen Heinrichs, were almost forgotten at this time. In the beginning phase of the great demands of the newly founded tobacco goods wholesaler, Peter and Gertrud, who had already met in 1962, got engaged. There was no time to celebrate. With the 3,000 marks they had saved themselves and an old Ford, there was not much they could do in the wholesale tobacco business. Contact with an old friend of his father's brought the breakthrough and credit was granted. The tobacco wholesale business got off to a good start. To get better and better in the market, aggressive pricing was inevitable. Twelve to fifteen direct competitors were not at all pleased. A lot of work was in the offing, the best service was offered, 24-hour service, around the clock. For the civil wedding in 1968 and even for the church wedding celebration a year later, only a few hours were allotted - and off they went back to work. The company grew and in the course of time 2500 vending machines were distributed in the greater area of Cologne/Bonn, Bergisch Gladbach and Siegburg and had to be stocked. Two girls, Tanja and Petra, were born.

The years of ever greater personal commitment to the wholesale tobacco trade came to an unexpected end for Peter Heinrichs in 1974. At that time, the Tobaccoland company was buying up one tobacco goods wholesaler after another. Peter Heinrichs and his wife Gertrud received a generous offer which they could not and would not resist. This led to a quick agreement and the formalities of the transfer were quickly completed. With the sale of his wholesale tobacco business, Peter and Gertrud Heinrichs were financially secure for the time being. What could be more natural after the many years of leisure time hardship than to go on holiday for a longer period of time. A good night's sleep, sunshine every day, and good "Spanish cuisine" - what more could they want? "Of course" this could not go well in the long run with Peter Heinrichs, who had a busy past. A serious traffic accident in Spain had to be coped with. Homesickness for Cologne began to stir and a new domicile was found in Büsdorf, a small community in the Rhine-Erft district.

3. Generation 1975 - 2016

The chapter of tobacco goods wholesaling was closed. A new pipe shop was needed for "the" Pfeifen-Heinrichs from Cologne, in his home town, of course. The location was quickly found. Peter Heinrichs opened his first specialist tobacco shop at Hahnenstraße 2 in a central location in May 1975. The shop offered pipes, tobacco, pipe tampers, etc., in other words everything a real pipe smoker needs to keep his tobacco pipe smoking. Every customer was offered coffee free of charge. It was not just a saying when Peter Heinrichs said that he regarded his customers as friends. A little later, Peter Heinrichs expanded the range of products in his shop and from then on also sold cigars. The typical kiosk offer of cigarettes, spirits, sweets, newspapers, lotto and Toto, was not offered. Why should he? Tobacco products were his profession. Hospitality was not neglected in his shop. Peter Heinrichs attached the greatest importance to fulfilling his customers' wishes in a specialised and well-equipped tobacco shop. The shop ran well, was opened every morning by Peter himself at 6.00 a.m. and closed at the respective legal closing times. Came into the world.

Peter had only been in the new shop in Hahnenstraße for a month in 1975 when he received a court injunction by post. The sender was the two cousins who had "kicked him out" of his parents' business in 1963. Before Peter Heinrich became independent in Hahnenstraße, they had registered the company name Pfeifen Heinrichs for their shop in Martinstraße and now had it banned for Peter. His mother was already too weak in health to take action against her brother-in-law Leo Heinrichs senior, also a co-owner of Pfeifen Heinrichs, and his sons Ernst and Leo Friedrich. However, Peter had inherited the name Pfeifen Heinrichs from his deceased father Peter Heinrichs senior, the rightful co-owner of the Pfeifen Heinrichs business. Due to the legal circumstances, Peter relented and named his business "Pfeifen Peter Heinrichs" from then on. This too was forbidden to him by his cousins through an injunction: the name Pfeifen in connection with the name Heinrichs also fell under the protection of the naming rights previously secured by the two cousins. From now on, he named his shop "Peter Heinrichs" with the addition "House of Ten Thousand Pipes".
In 1979, a third girl followed in the Heinrichs family, Sandra. In 1984, Peter Heinrichs followed the call of a friend to fly to America with a pipe offer to the pipe show in Burlingame in the US state of California. Without further ado, he packed two suitcases. On the whole, "probably about 400 pipes". The resulting and successful business development with a specialist tobacco shop Heinrichs & Pulvers in San Francisco lasted 6 years and had already launched the first German-American pipe catalogue for the American market three years earlier. After careful consideration, Peter Heinrichs did not open another shop in San Francisco during this time. His comment, after all, was that he could not divide himself. The "commute" between Cologne and San Francisco was simply too long for him. However, the business relationship was not to end, but continued for many years under a franchise agreement and with great support from the Cologne "head office". Another business relationship gave rise to the company Heinrichs & Levin, based in Craftsburry in the US state of Vermont. In the meantime, a lively pipe and tobacco mail order business had developed here for the whole of America. Later, after the death of the partner, Peter Heinrichs was able to take over the logistics of the mail-order business with its assortment of goods, which had been expanded in the meantime, one-to-one from Germany, is still operated today and is one of the important pillars of the business. Peter Heinrichs enjoyed being in the States. He met with a great wave of sympathy from his American friends and customers, Cologne-American, that fitted. He enjoyed meeting them and of course got to know more and more people from all over the world who were important and interesting to him. In the meantime, his curiosity and interests were also strongly focused on the East Asian region. In 1985, he met Joseph Yang from Taiwan. His business activities included the company "Shing-Wang Trading" with three shops in Taiwan. One of these shops was in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan. Only a short time after Peter's return to his shop on Hahnenstraße, he received a visit. Joseph Yang was standing in his shop and wanted to do business with Peter Heinrichs. The conversation at the Pipeshow had appealed to him, and he felt that Peter Heinrichs, with his now world-famous company, was probably the right man for him. The negotiations were successful. Peter supplied pipes and tobacco, and one of his business friends from Germany supplied bags made of leather, etc..

Peter's next innovative wish was to build a "temple of pleasure" for pipe and cigar smokers outside Cologne. A suitable site was found in Bergheim-Niederaußem. An architecturally unusual building with large sales areas and the necessary storage capacities was to be built on a 1100 m2 site. For the upper floor of the building, he envisioned a pipe museum with a lounge. The planning of sufficient customer parking spaces on the premises was a matter of course for him. Who would have thought that! The competitors - as before with the marketing of cigarettes with pipe tobacco - only had a smile left for the creation of a "tobacco stronghold": "Who would drive to the green meadow for a pipe?". On Sunday, 30.10.1994, at 11.00 a.m., the time had come. Peter Heinrichs announced to his customers, friends and guests: "Finally, after 14 months of construction, the "biggest house" in the world for pipes, tobacco and cigars has been built, offering the customer everything under one roof. I look forward to seeing you there". Peter Heinrich's invitation was accepted by many friends and customers, including the curious, as always when there is something "incredible" to marvel at. His success, that of his whole family and that of his employees, could not be overlooked, despite the large amount of work on that day, not even for the competitors. What many visitors to the opening event on that Sunday did not know beforehand was that Peter Heinrichs had added a new pipe museum to the new "mainstay" of his business activities. There was no hustle and bustle in the museum, nor was anything sold here except drinks and cakes. The museum was open daily, guided tours took place by appointment, also on Sundays. Since 1996 and in the years since, "Smokertreffs" have taken place in Niederaussem. Peter Heinrichs invited his customers, friends and guests to these. For those who had registered and paid a small contribution, there was the opportunity to partake of a hot food buffet specially ordered for the day, including drinks, tasting of high-quality spirits, a "good" cigar and samples of various pipe tobaccos. Peter Heinrichs had ensured the presence of famous pipe makers from all over the world. In the beginning, up to 350 guests came, later more, and nowadays it is not unusual for up to 500 guests to visit the "Château Henri" and the Peter Heinrichs Museum on the occasion of the "Smokertreff".

Peter Heinrichs is an "institution in the tobacco industry" is the opinion of the Board of Trustees of German Trade about Peter Heinrichs. The Board of Trustees, which also includes the Cologne Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the Federation of German Retailers, awards a prize every year to a winner whose entrepreneurial achievements meet the respective Trade Forum requirement. In 1996 it is the "Innovative Sales Concepts". The reason for this extraordinary award for Peter Heinrichs was his long, difficult and very successful path from tobacco wholesaling to tobacco retailing, which earned him the title "Institution of the Tobacco Products Industry". The "German Retail Prize 1996" was awarded to Peter Heinrichs, tobacco goods retailer in Cologne, by Holger Wenzel, Managing Director of the German Retail Association, on Wednesday, 25 September 1996, during the 13th Cologne Retail Forum at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne. The laudatory speech was given by Lovro Mandac, Chairman of the Board of Kaufhof Warenhaus AG. Peter Heinrichs was accompanied to the presentation of the "German Retail Award 1996" by his wife Gertrud Heinrichs. As Peter Heinrichs never failed to mention, his wife Gertrud Heinrichs is regarded as an irreplaceable partner at his side, without whom this award ceremony would not have taken place. Success did not come by itself, everything was hard-earned by the two of them. "Customers and friends" rate Peter's behaviour towards them very highly, as it guarantees them a competent and knowledgeable approach, reliability, service and a high level of hospitality, and they are happy to come back. The key to success! The constant implementation of new sales concepts and the realisation of new ideas led Peter Heinrichs to convince his customers at all times that he was the "Best Tobacconist" far and wide, and that the award of the "German Retail Prize 1996" was no coincidence and rightly so. At that time in 1996, Peter Heinrichs was already considered by many citizens of Cologne to be a "Cologne original" of the present day. "Before me, everyone was and is the same, whether the "friend" was called Mr. Schmitz or Mr. Director Schmitz". (Quote Peter Heinrichs) "The customer is my friend, and since I want my friends to be satisfied, I treat them accordingly". (Quote Peter Heinrichs)
Im Jahr 2003 eröffnete Peter Heinrichs in seinem „Château Henri“ in Niederaußem, die zweite „Casa del Habano“ Deutschlands. Alle Casas auf der Welt verkaufen ausschließlich Zigarren- Produkte kubanischer Herkunft. Peter war der einzige Händler weltweit, der sich diesem Diktat der Kubaner geschickt entzog und auch weiterhin sein gesamtes Rauchwarensortiment seinen Kunden anbieten durfte. Die Kubaner schlossen sich seinen Argumenten für den Standort Niederaußem an, obwohl sie lieber in bester Lage in der Kölner Innenstadt vertreten gewesen wären. 2006 war es dann so weit, dass die „Casa del Habano“ von Niederaußem nach Köln verlegt wurde. Das denkmalgeschützte Haus neben seinem Stammgeschäft, hatte Peter stilsicher zu einer neuen „Casa del Habano“ eingerichtet. Zu diesem Zeitpunkt gab es mittlerweile 88 Casas auf der Welt, davon nun drei in Deutschland: Berlin, Nürnberg und Köln. Im Jahre 2003 wurde Peter Heinrichs von seinem Cousin Ernst Heinrichs das Geschäft in der Martinstraße gegenüber dem Kölner Gürzenich zum Kauf angeboten. Die beiden wurden sich einig: Ernst Heinrichs verkaufte seinen Laden Pfeifen Heinrichs an seinen Cousin Peter Heinrichs. Der nunmehr zu Peter Heinrichs gehörende Laden Pfeifen Heinrichs, Martinstraße 16-20, wurde am 01.04.2003 nach umfangreichen Umbauten mit einem begehbaren Humidor ausgestattet und unter der Regie zweier seiner Schwiegersöhne neu eröffnet. Es kam endlich das zusammen, was von jeher - seit dem Tode Peter Heinrichs sen. - zusammengehörte. Nun war Peter Heinrichs mit der von seinem Vater geerbten Persönlichkeit und dem erfolgreichen Geschäft an der Hahnenstraße 2 zum wirklichen und alleinigen Pfeifen Heinrichs in Köln und weit darüber hinaus geworden. Nachdem Peter Heinrichs sich bereits 1993 an einer Westdeutschen Meisterschaft im Pfeifelangsamrauchen in Köln beteiligt hatte, folgte 2007 das erstmalige Premium-Sponsoring bei einer Deutschen Meisterschaft. Viele Events dieser Art folgten, Europameisterschaften, World Cups und Weltmeisterschaften. Im Mai 2009 veranstaltete Peter Heinrichs einen großen „Frühjahrs Smokertreff“ im Maritim Hotel Köln. Er konnte an dem Samstag des Veranstaltungswochenendes im Hotel Maritim Köln in etwa 800 Gäste begrüßen. Viele der Besucher nahmen die Gelegenheit wahr, in Köln zu übernachten und sich die Sehenswürdigkeiten der Stadt anzusehen. Im Jahre 2010 gilt Peter Heinrichs, seit 2003 wieder „Pfeifen-Heinrichs“, laut international anerkannten Herstellern, Händlern und Kunden als größter Pfeifen- und Zigarren-Händler weltweit.
2008 was celebrated: 100th anniversary of the company Pfeifen Heinrichs in Cologne and 45th anniversary of the company Peter Heinrichs, Cologne and Niederaußem, awarding of the "Golden Berlin Collegium Pipe 2008" Tabakskollegium Berlin, awarding of the "Golden Association Pin" Verband Deutscher Pfeifenraucher e.V. Invitations were extended to the Château Henri in Niederaußen. The 500 or so guests who turned up made it easy for the "echt kölschen Jung" Peter Heinrichs to feel like the happiest person in a big tobacco and pleasure world. No one contradicted his opinion that it was much nicer to celebrate these anniversaries in the company of so many friends instead of alone. Before the usual welcoming speeches on the occasion of such high-profile anniversaries, the museum, the shop with its wide range of goods and the gala buffet attracted the highest attention of the guests. Afterwards, many a lady or gentleman lit up an excellent cigar or a very good pipe tobacco and now began to feel really good. A special highlight of this evening was the "Goldene-Kollegiums-Pfeife 2008" awarded by the "Berliner Tabakskollegium" to Peter Heinrichs. Nils Thomsen congratulated Peter Heinrichs on his special merits in the "pipe and tobacco industry" and awarded him. Kurt Eggemann, President of the VDP-Verband Deutscher Pfeifenraucher e.V. and the 1st Cologne Pipe Club, congratulated his friend Peter Heinrichs on both anniversaries. He also thanked him on behalf of all VDP pipe smoking clubs for his activities so far and awarded him the golden association pin of the VDP. Peter Heinrichs then took the microphone and gave a great speech about everything that moved him and was on his tongue. He found particularly heartfelt words for his family, especially for his wife Gertrud. These words were followed by prolonged applause, and there was nothing to add.
In 2010, his book "Ich liebe mich- Mit Leidenschaft zum Erfolg" (I love myself - with passion to success) was published by Dieter H. Wirtz. "Here Peter Heinrichs tells his story and provides insights into the life of a bon vivant who has made it from the bottom to the top. It is vividly shown that it is possible to be successful even in difficult times." In the same year, a diploma thesis on the subject of Cologne originals, which had been in progress for two years beforehand and was written by Kurt Eggemann, reached the Akademie för uns kölsche Sproch. The title of the diploma thesis, written in scientific form, was: Peter Heinrichs, pipe specialist in Cologne, "Aus dem Leben und Schaffen eines kölschen Originals des 21. Jahrhunderts" (From the life and work of a Cologne original of the 21st century). Peter Heinrichs, born on 17.04.1946 in Cologne, is considered by many people to be a Cologne original for a variety of reasons. Through extensive research and many personal interviews, the author came to the conclusion that Peter Heinrichs had certainly already learned the basics in the course of his young life from his father Peter Heinrichs senior, his great role model. Peter Heinrichs created a foundation for himself through his tireless business activities, which had developed in the Cologne environment and also internationally over decades and today extends far beyond his home town. Many knew him personally or from the media, as they say today when someone reads the newspaper, listens to the radio or watches television. Another reason is his great commitment to the socially disadvantaged in Cologne. Although Peter is at home in the wide world, he wants to help and alleviate hardship in his home town without talking about it too much. The list of Peter Heinrichs' many commitments could be continued for a long time, but it would not be in his interest. When asked what a Cologne original is, Peter Heinrichs himself gave a hint. He said in a personal interview: "Every person is unique on this planetThis means: everyone is unique, everyone is an original. And since Peter is a human being, he is an original. And since he is also a Cologne native, he is a Cologne original. Logical! That is a definition of a Cologne original that is just as accurate as it is simple, a typical Cologne definition. In this respect, at least, it is justified to include Peter Heinrichs in the circle of Cologne originals of the 21st century, if it were not for other qualities such as his sense of humour, his ability to name things that bother him, to point out grievances, to express criticism - without hurting personally, to get involved where he sees the need - namely on the ground in Cologne - and without talking much about it, as well as his ability to approach people and respect them in their uniqueness without courting them. All this according to the motto: Every Jeck is different, and they are all a bit jeck.
The year 2014 was a special one. A world championship in Cologne, the 13th world championship in slow pipe smoking at a historic event location, the Wolkenburg, hosted by the 1st Cologne Pipe Club "The Pipe Club of Cologne", was a special and business highlight for Peter Heinrichs. Together with Kurt Eggemann and the 1st Cologne Pipe Club, the Wolkenburg was booked for a whole weekend. 400 participants from 28 countries and probably 1000 guests at the Pipe Show spent the two days according to their wishes and interests in the Wolkenburg, but also in the tobacco shop of Peter Heinrichs in the Hahnenstraße, which is just around the corner. The daily and trade press, international and national, reported extensively on this successful and excellently organised World Championship. A chance for the "pipe", all those involved quickly realised, and even today they fondly remember an event of superlatives for pipe smokers and pleasure seekers. 

Good times, good business. Not for eternity. Peter Heinrichs passed away on 04.11.2016. What remains are the memories with pipe and tobacco of shared and good times.
Even today, Pfeifen Heinrichs-Peter Heinrichs is considered one of the leading experts for tobacco, pipes and cigars. Long before he opened his internet shop, he was already sending orders all over the world on a daily basis. The two shops in Cologne and Bergheim-Niederaußem offer a unique selection: Several 10,000 pipes are always in stock, with a special focus on exclusive models and collector's pipes.  

In the large walk-in humidors, every important cigar brand can be found in almost every format, often including limited editions that have long been out of stock at other retailers. In addition, there is an extensive range of tobaccos and accessories as well as exquisite rum, whisky, cognac and wine.

The personal touch, the relaxed conversation and the competent advice make the difference: even after Peter Heinrichs, his wife and now sole boss Pfeifen Heinrichs-Peter Heinrichs, Gertrud Heinrichs, with family and staff, has been actively assisting her customers and friends since 2016. How much money a customer spends, whether he is a celebrity - all that has always been completely unimportant to Peter Heinrichs and Gertrud Heinrichs: "Everyone has the same right to get only the best here and to be served first class."

Because it's not just about products or brands, but also about communication and dialogue: The cosy smokers' lounges in both shops invite you to linger - over a pipe or cigar with a cup of coffee, a glass of wine, a good whisky, cognac or rum. Just like the smoker meetings that Pfeifen Heinrichs-Peter Heinrichs organises several times a year at Chateau Henri and in Cologne. Peter Heinrichs creates spaces for enjoyment - always competent, enthusiastic and innovative.