Bell Flavors and Fragrances, Chicago, celebrated 100 years in business on July 25th with a formal reception at the Marriott Resort in Lincolnshire, Ill. More than 300 guests attended, and Bell presented a 3-dimensional commemorative art piece as a well as a commemorative video honoring its 100 years in business.
Following the art work presentation, James and Raymond Heinz, Bell co-presidents, shared their experiences with the company over the years. Sandy Frum, president of the village of Northbrook, Ill., capped off the presentation by congratulating Bell for its contribution to the community and noted how the village passed a resolution honoring the company's milestone.
The company was founded in Chicago in 1912 by William M. Bell, who used his background as a flavor chemist at Kraft Foods to start up his own flavor business selling flavors to local ice cream parlors, grocery stores and soda pop shops. In the 1930s as Chicago was becoming the candy capital of the world, Bell's flavors were incorporated into some of the first caramels and marshmallows produced in the U.S. Following William M. Bell's death in the late 1930s, Theonett & Co. purchased the company and ran it until Edward N. Heinz purchased it in 1967.
After acquiring two fragrance companies, Heinz changed the Wm. M. Bell Company to Bell Flavors and Fragrances, Inc. Over the next 40 years, Bell acquired 15 flavor and fragrance businesses around the world including manufacturing locations in Northbrook, Ill.; Middletown, N.Y.; Guadalajara, Mexico; Brossard (Montreal), Canada; Leipzig, Germany; Shanghai, China and Sao Paulo, Brazil.