Andele Hellema opens a confectionary bakery in Hallum
Andele Hellema is only 22 years old when he finds a house in Hallum to start his confectionary bakery in 1861. A market gap: in the countryside of Noord-Friesland there was barely any production of cake, cookies and pastry. He worked according to his motto: ‘Baking with love results in committed employees, beautiful products, and most importantly, satisfied customers’.
Son Jan Andeles Hellema takes over
Andele died 1887 when he was 49 years old, when his son Jan Andeles was only nine. That is why his three sisters were in charge of Hellema between 1892 and 1899: Grietje, Lykeltje and Pietje. Jan Andeles officially took over in 1899.
Hellema sells two bakeries
At the start of the First World War, Jan Andeles Hellema decided to no longer sell to individuals, but to bakeries and wholesalers. It turned out to be a good decision: around 1918, the demand for cookies from bakeries increased considerably. That is why the De Valk hotel, next-door to the bakery, was bought in order to expand.
Across the border
In 1940 Jan’s son Wieger took over, together with his son Aedzer. But there was not much room for growth for ‘Koek- en Banketfabriek De Valk’ (as Hellema was called in those days) during the war. After the war, the demand suddenly grew enormously. And then suddenly the family company was also sending products to England: Macaroons. This was the first step across the border.
In 1947, Aedzar was finally able to turn a dream into reality: he bought a chain oven. So now the company finally had its own conveyor belt, and they could make cookies even faster. This was the start of a golden era.
Hellema more and more attractive for employees
Under the leadership of Ymke Hellema, the son of Aedzer, the scale of Hellema was increased considerably. On the one hand because of social developments, and on the other hand because Jan was a man of technological progress. This meant that more and more people came to work at Hellema. In 1974, a new location was opened on the Doniaweg, the new industrial area of Hallum.
New faces, new products
After being at the helm for 34 years, Jan Hellema passed on the company to Gerrit and Hille Hellema in 1999. They turned Smoeltjes into the renowned brand for children that it is nowadays, and they put more emphasis on the development of new products. Not just for the Dutch market, but also beyond.
150 years since Hellema was founded
From peat to gas, from an insertion oven to a hyper-modern oven conveyor of 100 metres, from calculations on greasy paper to diagrams on the computer, and from tins filled manually to hyper-modern packing machines. A lot has happened in 150 years!
A world of cookies, bars & bites
Almost 160 years later the factory, where 280 people are working these days, still belongs to the Hellema family. The brothers Gerrit and Hille Hellema are part of the board of directors. A lot has changed, but it is still a beautiful family business in Hallum in Noord-Friesland.