David Anderson and Dean Smith co-founded Colonial Chemical, Inc. in 1987. The initial focus of Colonial was the manufacture of alkyl sulfates and alkyl ether sulfates. The company's first production plant was in Dalton, Georgia, and Dean and David, building upon their past experience in the chemical industry, primarily sold this first generation of Colonial products to emulsion polymer and personal care markets.
In the spring of 1990 Colonial expanded to become the Southeast distributor for Mona Industries. Driven by a need for more warehouse space, Colonial relocated its plant in the vicinity of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Bolstered by Mona's expanded product line, Colonial embarked on a steady path of increased sales by diversifying its customer base and creating new accounts. Colonial soon began offering performance blends of Mona and Colonial products, formulated to meet the specific needs of customers.
As Colonial continued to grow, the company also became a sales agent for Active Organics, a manufacturer of cosmetic herbal extracts, in 1991. Colonial worked to expand the markets of Active Organics in the southeastern United States. This opportunity allowed Colonial to begin selling in the personal care market, providing customers with base surfactants, performance additives, and natural herbal extracts. Colonial's successful relationship with Active Organics helped the company gain valuable experience in producing and selling naturally derived products.
By the middle of the 1990's Colonial was looking to relocate again, this time to a more permanent location where the company would have room to expand in the future. In the fall of 1996 Colonial purchased 10 acres of land in Marion County, Tennessee and began construction on a 25,000 square foot facility. This new building allowed Colonial to combine its management, manufacturing, and research laboratories under one roof. The move to Marion County also afforded Colonial the ability to grow as a novel chemical manufacturer. After just two years at its new location, Colonial again expanded, doubling its plant size to 50,000 square feet and purchasing an additional 24 acres of land.
In November of 1999, Colonial ended its arrangement with Mona Industries, which had since been purchased by ICI/Uniqema. Colonial was again able to enlarge production capabilities and began manufacturing products which had formerly been produced by Mona. The following years saw a dramatic growth of Colonial's role inside the chemical industry, moving beyond the southeastern United States to become a truly international company. Colonial is now fully represented in all of continental America, as well as in over 25 countries internationally, serving customers in the personal care, industrial, and lubrication markets.
Colonial has also moved to develop its own unique line of products. Colonial was granted its first patent in December of 2001 for the phospholipid, Colalipid DLO. Currently Colonial holds over 20 patents for its original surfactant products and technology.
Colonial's quick expansion over the years has not been at the expense of customer service, and Colonial strives as much as ever to meet the demands of the customer in a quick yet personable way.