A Rich History
Bell Flavors & Fragrances began as the William M. Bell Company founded in Chicago, Illinois. Mr. Bell's flavors were extremely innovative during these early years in the Flavor Industry. His previous education as a Flavor Chemist in Confections gave him a great understanding of flavors, but it was his creative nature that captured his customers taste. In the early years, William M. Bell sold his creative flavors to local ice cream parlors, grocery stores, and soda pop shops.
The William M. Bell Company's flavors became so demanding he had to expand, his first manufacturing facility was on West Grand Avenue in Chicago. The location proved to be ideal, as Chicago quickly became the "Candy Capital of the World." Today there is no "Candy Capital of the World," but Chicago still ranks high in productivity in the confectionery market, as well as other food and beverage markets.
William M. Bell was successful in developing sweet flavors for his confectionery and dairy customers. Many new products were being formulated with a dairy product called whey, a highly nutritious ingredient, but difficult to balance correctly with taste. William M. Bell was successful in this challenge, using his remarkable ability to analyze and create flavors. His creative ability allowed Bell's flavors to be incorporated into the first caramels and marshmallows produced in the US. Today, Bell's flavors are still widely used in these product areas.
Edward N. Heinz decided to take his 25 years of knowledge and experience in the Flavor Industry and purchased the William M. Bell Company, preceding the death of William M. Bell. Mr. Heinz and his sons brought a renewed enthusiasm to the company. Bell continued to grow through their creativity, hard work and building customer loyalty. The business expanded to include fragrances with the acquisition of Maumee Flavors and Fragrances, a division of Sherwin Williams Company in 1976.
The company grew quickly with the Heinz family's continuous effort to make it a quality flavor and fragrance supplier. The prosperity of the company warranted a new name, a name that would reflect the products that Bell created and manufactured. The company was renamed Bell Flavors & Fragrances and today is an industry renowned name.
That's not the only changes the company faced due to successes. Bell's expansive growth lead to a new facility twice the size of the original manufacturing plant. The new plant was located in Melrose Park, Illinois. The expansion continued to progress, so the company moved again; this time to the facility that Bell Flavors & Fragrances now calls its corporate headquarters in Northbrook, Illinois. This facility was acquired from Stepan Chemical Company in 1981, as part of acquiring Stepan's flavor & fragrance business.
Bell acquires Synfleur, which is Nestle's Flavor and Fragrance division, located in Monticello, New York. Synfleur had two manufacturing plants, one located in Monticello, New York and one located in White Lake, New York.
Mr. Edward N. Heinz passed away, but his sons continue the business today. The sons continue on their father's passion for the business and with that came even greater expansion and growth.
Bell privatized the operations of Schimmel & Company in Leipzig, Germany. This company, originally founded in 1829, is considered to be the founding flavor and fragrance company in the world. This facility is one of the largest, most modern production plants in Europe. With over 40 R&D professionals, 20 of whom hold Doctorates, Bell's tradition of innovation and research continues to create award winning products throughout the world.
This facility is also home to the oldest Chemical library in the world. The Schimmel Library has collections of some of the earliest and most pioneering work to ever be developed and studied in this industry.
Bell purchased a 100,000 square foot manufacturing plant from PFW-Hercules. This modern plant, located in Middletown, New York serves as Bell's manufacturing for fragrances and botanicals, servicing our North American customers.
Bell purchased Naturome in Brossard/Montreal, Canada. The company specialized in natural flavors and botanical extracts for the beverage and Dairy/Yogurt Industry.
Bell purchased EIGSA located in Guadalajara, Mexico. EIGSA, a mid-size flavor and fragrance manufacturer, supplied the Mexican market for over 50 years.
Bell opened a 40,000 square foot, brand new manufacturing facility in Shanghai, China. This was done to accommodate our growing sales demand for flavors and fragrances in Asia and the Pacific Rim.
Bell develops creative flavors and fragrances for the Food, Beverage, Cosmetic, Household Care, Personal Care, Oral Care, and Tobacco companies throughout the world. Bell's position in the industry has come a long way since 1912, but the same values William M. Bell and Edward N. Heinz held are still carried on by the Heinz and Bell Family today.