The Story of Acker: The 200-Year History of America’s Oldest Wine Shop

An example of our company anniversary history books, The Story of Acker takes the reader through four distinct stages of Acker, Merrall & Condit’s two-century story. Services included:

  • Wide ranging photo research in U.S. and overseas repositories
  • Oral history consulting
  • Story sourced from external archives, historical publications, census records, and artifacts
  • Coordination with design team and company top management to shape the story and presentation


Acker, the world’s undisputed top wine auction firm, approached its 200th anniversary just as it was completing a major rebrand. Acker’s leaders wanted to tell that story and the rest of the corporate history in a book. Company memory, however, was nearly all based on tradition. There were no archives and few historical records.


Ken began by recovering the visual and documentary history of the company through newspapers, magazines, and trade journals. He consulted city directories, census records, New York City business archives, and even Upper West Side social media. Ken retrieved photographs, documents, and artifacts from a variety of sources. Among the most notable were the collections of the wealthy New Yorkers who once shopped at the nation’s foremost luxury grocer. Ken also conducted an oral history project, saving stories from three generations of family members that would otherwise have been lost to history.

Next Ken drafted the story and selected and captioned the best among hundreds of images collected. His sidebars included profiles of notable individuals, amusing anecdotes, and more specialized stories. Ken worked closely with Acker’s Chairman to ensure completion of the history book for the company anniversary.

As Acker management put it, “internal records of our corporate history prior to current ownership were scarce, but Ken dug deeply into historical archives and told our story in an engaging and fascinating way that shed so much light on our journey to the present. In order to make a deadline to gift our coffee table book to our largest clients at our company’s 200-year celebrations, a tight turn around was necessary. Ken delivered on our timeline with proficiency and poise.”

Project Specifications

  • 10” x 12.25”
  • 104 pages
  • Full color glossy pages
  • Collage end papers
  • Production oversight