Manufacturing Today
- Page 21
Waterbury has Chemistry continued
Molly Kellogg, CEO, Hubbard-Hall

Hubbard-Hall has made Waterbury its home for decades, and will continue to do so, in great part because the business, founded by Gideon Platt as Apothecaries Hall, has been in her family for six generations, Kellogg said.

“My goal is to get the business on to the next generation, so we hope to be in Waterbury for the next 100 years,” said Kellogg, a Watertown native appointed the company’s first female CEO in 2015. “It’s more of a personal feeling than a business consideration.”

She is trying to grow business volume by 30 percent over time by making investments in the Waterbury location and making production more efficient, she said, and the ability to ship products worldwide is a significant driver behind the push to increase production.

“It’s no longer dependent on how far we can go in a horse and buggy or with a truck,” she said, adding that their chemicals are shipped as far as Malaysia. “Our products are performance-driven and they can be sold anywhere.”

Kellogg said Hubbard-Hall is extremely diligent in preventing its 2,000 dry and liquid chemicals, which range from acetone to zinc sulfate, from contaminating the city’s ground and waterways. Charles Kellogg, her father and the company’s chairman, is a founding member of the National Association of Chemical Distributors, which sets safety standards for chemical companies above regulations, she said. “We certainly use their standards and code of conduct in how we operate,” she said.

The firm, which produces “tens of millions of pounds” of chemicals per year, also has an outsourced regulatory staff to help it comply with regulations set by numerous state and federal agencies, she said. Measures include storing only certain chemicals side by side, shipping only to businesses and only certain ones, and looking into new customers’ backgrounds and their intent with requested solutions, she said.

“We handle that and we do it safely,” said Kellogg, whose firm is one of Waterbury Regional Chamber’s oldest members. “We take it very seriously … I would put our safety record up against anybody else’s.”

Don Cullen, Director of Marketing and Communications,
MacDermid Performance Solutions

While its manufacturing and corporate offices have left the state in the past, Mac- Dermid Performance Solutions has always maintained a presence of some sort on Freight Street because of its employees, Cullen said.

“We can’t deny there’s a legacy effect,” said Cullen, who added that company founder Archie MacDermid came from Hubbard-Hall when it was Apothecaries Hall.

“We have a lot of employees that have joined here and relocating them is a problem.”

Further, Connecticut offers proximity to Boston and New York and has a nice standard of living, while offering something unique, he said.

“There is the innovative, entrepreneurial, Connecticut Yankee ingenuity kind of thing that we benefit from,” he said.

The company may even add 50 workers to the Enthone building, since the new laboratories have been installed on the fourth floor, he said.

More employees may be brought into space it has acquired in a former Connecticut Light & Power building on Freight Street, he said.

“As long as we have opportunities to invest in and we have success, we’re going to step up,” he said.

Together, MacDermid Performance Solutions’ six businesses serve an extremely wide variety of industries, from automotive to packaging to electronics to solar to offshore oil drilling and so on.

“Our chemicals are in everything,” he said. “I can go into your house and find a thousand instances of our chemistry.”

He said residents need not worry about chemical-related hazards in Waterbury because MacDermid only tests chemicals in its laboratories in the Enthone building, he said.

“Even the laboratory chemicals that we use are treated in such a fastidious way that the water that comes out of this facility is a hundred times cleaner than the drinking water we take in,” he said. “We’re doing a service to the city.