80 Years Young and Flexible
You do not become an internationally renowned supplier, with a wealth of experience and expertise, from one day to the next. In our case this is achieved through 80 years of ups, but also downs. We have learned and gained valuable experience from these years. Today our successes and achievements result from the following practices:
- listening to the market
- adjusting the sails when the wind turns
- learning from all experiences, both good and bad
- investing in employees
The Helichem Group History:
1937: Establishment Chemical Factory ‘De Zonnebloem’ in Heerlen
Direct supplier to retail of waxes, stove paste and hair grease.
1950: Extended range and a move to Brunssum
The selection was extended with household products such as shampoo, bath foam, fabric conditioner anddishwash detergent. These products were delivered to local shops, border shops, catering businesses, churches, school and retail stores, by our own delivery van.
60s and 70s: The world is changing
Due to changes in society we had to make adjustments at our chemical factory. Local shops disappeared. Supermarkets, often connected to national supply chains, appeared on the scene. ‘De Zonnebloem’ had to alter its course.
1980: Current management established
When Henk Vossen took over the company, only two people were in employment there. Vossen changed the company name to ‘Zonnebloem Chemie’ which marked the beginning of a new phase for the chemical company.
80s: ‘Zonnebloem Chemie’ entered a new direction
Zonnebloem invested in expertise and tapped into the professional market. The product range was significantly extended during this period. Zonnebloem Chemie became a specialised supplier for wholesalers, industry and institutions.
1983: Move to Reuver
Strong growth necessitated relocation to larger premises in Reuver.
1984: Start of subsidiary Helipox
As part of Zonnebloem Chemie, Helipox began to specialise in epoxy coatings and concrete repair products.
1986: Takeover of Alco Chemicals
Alco Chemicals was a supplier for specific industrial customers, however in the meantime this division has since regained its independence from Helichem.
1987: Upwards through a change of direction
Zonnebloem Chemie commenced specialising in ‘private labels’. Particularly in small and medium-large quantities. At the same time, the service was perfected in the areas of product development, packaging, label design, labelling requirements, safety information sheets and logistics.
1990: Takeover of Ruka Chemie GmbH
With the incorporation of Ruka Chemie GmbH, Zonnebloem established itself as the owner of a manufacturer of DIY products for the German market.
1997: Takeover of J.B. de Lange
With the takeover of the business enterprise J.B. de Lange BV, Zonnebloem became the owner of an importer of products including essential oils.
1998: Zonnebloem becomes Helichem
Zonnebloem Chemie has meanwhile become a healthy, modern, proactive and vibrant company. With international customers. This called for a dynamic name with international allure. Zonnebloem Chemie was renamed ‘Helichem’. A combination of the word ‘Helianthus’ – Latin for ‘sunflower’ (Dutch: ‘zonnebloem’) and ‘chemical’.
2001: New construction at industrial site in Belfeld
Growth and scale increases led to relocation to a new and ultramodern complex, which has been optimally designed for both research and production. The Helichem Group houses all operating companies in this new building. This move paved the way for further expansion. An increasing number of private label customers find their way to Helichem.
2004: Takeover of soap division Diffutherm
The takeover of this soap division formed the start of Helichem as a soap manufacturer. Meanwhile, Helichem has developed into an important producer of garage soaps within the Netherlands.
2011: Takeover of Flavodor
Helichem took over Flavodor, the producer of fragrance ingredients and flavouring substances, and incorporated the activities with business enterprise J.B. de Lange; also a member of the Helichem Group.
2012: Establishment Alpacasa BV
A joint venture with Alpaca S.A. in Paraguay, manufacturer of products including Guaiac oil.
2012: Takeover Vipack
With the takeover of Vipack b.v. the Helichem Group extends its activities within the sector of consumer products. The company remains located in Landgraaf where mass production takes places of products including dishwash detergents, laundry detergents, fabric softeners, all-purpose cleaners etc, and has now become independent.
2017: Helichem 80 years in business
Helichem has remained young for 80 years, and keeps looking forward to the future. A future in which we perfect even further our private label service which we deem paramount. And in which safety, sustainability, innovation and partnership are the key terms of business.
Helichem is a solid family business with a horizontal organisation. A business that fully appreciates pleasant relations with its customers. A business that honours your trust and that always keeps to its word.