Wholesaling and retail was not the career that Mr Gudmundur Jonsson chose for himself as a young man. He trained as a carpenter and worked in that trade for a number of years, in Norway as well as Iceland.

As the result of an accident at work when he lost the full use of three fingers, Mr Gudmundur Jonsson decided to try a new line of business. He drew on contacts he had already made in Norway and travelled widely in the Nordic coutnries, Germany and England, acquiring franchise rights and business contacts.

In 1919 he set up Brynja, a handyman’s shop on Reykjavik’s main Laugavegur shopping street, which still is thriving today.

Mr Gudmundur Jonsson sold the shop in 1937 and devoted his energies entirely to the franchise and wholesale business. In 1942 he established Velar & Verkfæri ehf together with his son and sons-in-law, which he ran alongside the wholesaling firm under his own name. Mr Gudmundur Jonsson died in 1955.

In 1963, Gudmundur Jonsson’s franchise and wholesaling business was registered as a limited liability company. The same year, the present managing director, Mr Sveinn H. Bjornsson, was appointed (grandson). He took over from the founders son Mr Gudmundur S. Gudmundsson, who had run the company after his fathers death.

Gudmundur Jonsson ehf is an old-established family firm and two generations of the founders descendants sit on the board of directors: Mrs Anna Larusdottir (Chairman, granddaughter), Mr Sveinn H. Bjornsson (grandson, also Managing Director) and Mr Bjorn V. Sveinsson (great-grandson).

The company has been co-operating with its supplyers for a long time and in some cases for close to a century. For example Assa AB since 1933 (oldest remaining contact since 1926).