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.