The History Of Hawkins

The History Of Hawkins

Founded in 1938, Hawkins has become a widely known and respected chemical distributor.


Hawkins History


Hawkins serves thousands of businesses and municipalities throughout the Central United States. We employ approximately 750 people, professional and operational staff, including experienced chemists and engineers, trained technicians and drivers, and customer support specialists.

A string of key decisions and service strategies have led Hawkins to continue to grow and innovate along with our customers. For example…



1938 Right from the beginning, Hawkins stressed service. Our rapid growth has been attributed both to our development of strategic alliances with manufacturers and our recognition of specific customer needs. In 1938, Hawkins distributed 12 products; today, the company provides businesses and communities with thousands of products.



In a defining move, the company expanded its range of services and products, functioning as a sales agent for bleach-maker Vel-Tex Chemical. It was a comfortable fit, and in 1971 Vel-Tex became a Hawkins wholly owned subsidiary. The Vel-Tex location is now referred to as Hawkins Terminal One and is located on the Mississippi River in St. Paul.



Hawkins purchased Feed-Rite Controls, specializing in water treatment chemicals and equipment.



Increasing and adding flexibility to river terminal operations, Hawkins acquired the Gordon Terminal on the south side of the Mississippi River in St. Paul. Today this facility is known as Terminal Two.



Likewise, Hawkins expanded its service to the mining, paper manufacturing and other Minnesota industries with the purchase of Arrowhead Chemical’s distribution facilities in Superior, Wis.



To fully serve the metal-finishing industry, Hawkins acquired Industrial Chemical and Equipment.



Hawkins completed a facility in St. Paul where it receives bulk products by barge, rail and truck. A base for Hawkins’ water treatment product distribution, Hawkins Red Rock provides Mississippi River access while being above the historical flood plain—ensuring distribution of water treatment to communities and other customers at a time when they need it most.



We acquired the business of Trumark, a producer of antimicrobial products for the food industry.



We opened our facility in Centralia, Illinois. Built primarily to serve our food-grade products business, the facility also manufactures and distributes a variety of other products and serves as a valuable back-up to our capabilities in the Twin Cities area.



We acquired Vertex Chemical Corporation, a manufacturer of sodium hypochlorite with facilities in St Louis, Missouri; Memphis, Tennessee; Dupo, Illinois; and Camanche, Iowa. Vertex also distributes and provides terminal services for bulk liquid inorganic chemicals and contract and private label packaging for household chemicals. In addition to expanding our geographical presence, the facilities provide additional manufacturing locations and two more facilities with barge access.

To ensure ample room for future business expansion, we acquired a 28-acre parcel of land in Rosemount, Minnesota, which completed construction in March of 2013. The site has excellent rail access and reduces our dependence on our flood-prone sites on the Mississippi River.



Ground breaking on new  facility in Havana, IL on September 9th, 2012.   This will be an 80’ x 200’ 16,000 square foot facility. Incorporated into this facility will be 2,000 sq. ft. of office space. It will also have 2,000 sq. ft. of warm storage for temperature controlled products and built-in concrete containment for four bulk tanks; this effort will allow for us to use single-walled tanks and will provide long term cost savings.



Hawkins’ new Rosemount facility opened its doors on schedule on March 1, 2013.  The Rosemount facility includes a 65,000 sq. ft. plant/warehouse, a large truck loading bay, exterior railroad siding and an exterior tank farm. The site is located on a 28-acre site at the intersection of Highways 55 and 52 in Rosemount, Minnesota.

Hawkins Inc. has moved its headquarters to Roseville from the Minneapolis building it has called home for the past six decades. After some construction to the space, Hawkins began business in the new space on April 29, 2013, shifting its corporate office to 2381 Rosegate in Roseville. Hawkins will be keeping its industrial operations at, 3100 East Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis.



Hawkins acquires The Dumont Company, Inc. a water treatment chemical distribution company with seven facilities across the State of Florida.  This acquisition significantly expands our Water Treatment Group’s geographic footprint to now cover the state of Florida.



Hawkins acquires Davis Supply Inc. a water treatment company in the State of Florida.  This strategic addition of the Davis company further expands Hawkins reach into the Florida water treatment market.

Hawkins acquires Stauber Performance Ingredients.  Stauber offers the finest quality ingredients to the nutritional, food, pharmaceutical, cosmetic and pet care industries.



Hawkins acquires American Development Corporation (ADC), a water treatment company in the state of Tennessee.  The geography covered by ADC fills a void in the Hawkins water treatment group footprint.



Hawkins acquired substantially all of the assets of C & L Aqua Professionals, Inc. and LC Blending, Inc. (together, “C&L Aqua”), two related companies that worked together to service customers throughout the State of Louisiana.


Hawkins acquires Southeast Water Systems, LLC, a water treatment company that serves customers in Alabama, southern Georgia, and the Florida panhandle.


Hawkins acquires Water and Waste Specialties, Inc., a water treatment company that serves customers throughout Alabama.


Hawkins completes its purchase of NAPCO Chemical Company, Inc. and its affiliates (“NAPCO Chemical”).  NAPCO Chemical manufactures and distributes water treatment chemicals from three locations in Texas.



Hawkins acquires EcoTech Enterprises, Inc. (“EcoTech”). EcoTech is a water treatment company that manufactures, blends, packages and distributes water treatment chemicals for its customers throughout Arkansas and surrounding states.


Hawkins acquires Water Solutions Unlimited, Inc. (“Water Solutions”).  Water Solutions mainly serves municipal customers in Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and Kentucky.



Hawkins completes the acquisition of Industrial Research Corporation.  Industrial Research distributes water treatment chemicals and equipment for its customers in central to northern Louisiana, eastern Texas and southern Arkansas.