Prost! Australians help Blanco celebrate 90 years of family business

Manuel Blanc, Manager of the Heinrich Blanco Foundation, grandson of the company’s founder Heinrich Blanc Gerard Gill, Divisional Manager of Blanco Sinks and Taps  Maver Sims, Blanco Australia General Manager Uwe Johannböcke, International Sales Director Frank Straub, Chairman of the Advisory Board, grandson of the company's founder Heinrich Blanc

Prost! (from left) Manuel Blanc (Blanco Germany), Gerard Gill, Maver Sims (both Australia), Uwe Johannböcke and Frank Straub (both Germany) celebrating at Blanco’s 90th anniversary celebration.

While in Cologne recently for the LivingKitchen trade fair and an international sales conference, Maver Sims and Gerard Gill from Blanco’s Australian distributor, Shriro, joined members of the Blanc family to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Blanco company, which was founded in Oberderdingen, Germany, in 1925.

Oberderdingen is around 50 kilometres from Stuttgart, in Germany’s southwest, near the border with France. It was here that, in the interwar years, Heinrich Blanc founded his eponymous company. Although the word ‘blanco’ mean ‘white’ in several romance languages, this is not the reason the whitegoods brand carries this name (the German word for ‘white’ is ‘weiß’ (starting with a V sound and pronounced to rhyme with rice)). The company continues to be family owned.

“Since the foundation of the company, Blanco has been working with water in the kitchen, and in 1951 launched its first stainless steel sink on the market,” a spokesperson told me. “Since then, Blanco has gone from strength to strength, adding SteelArt, the Silgranit PuraDur composite range, and a host of innovative mixer taps to its portfolio.

“The company now supplies 120 countries from its head office in Germany with millions of customers counting on its innovative products and system solutions.”

Manuel Blanc is the grandson of Heinrich and is currently the manager of the Heinrich Blanc Foundation. He welcomed Blanco Australia general manager Maver Sims and divisional manager of sinks and taps Gerard Gill to the gala celebration.

Blanco first came to Australia in 1978 as a sink and taps brand, before adding a full suite of kitchen appliances to its range in the early 1980s. The brand was distributed for a long time by Hagemeyer, before that company was sold to Shriro in mid-2011.

Meanwhile, Stefan Kohl, director of corporate communications for Blanco, told me that the company was enthused by interest in the brand at LivingKitchen.

“We are very satisfied with LivingKitchen; it’s a great start into the new kitchen year,” Kohl said. “There were significantly more international visitors at the fair than at the previous events and we are very happy with this development. We even welcomed a whole range of top-level industry visitors from Russia.”

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