Mo Saremi, the Iranian-American founder and CEO of Minneapolis based Bell International Laboratories is once again expanding. The company, manufacturers organic health-and-beauty products for name-brand manufacturers, moved last year from two small plants in Minneapolis, Minnesota to a much larger facility in an Eagan industrial park.
Bell International Laboratories handles manufacturing for most of the sun-care products seen in retailers like Whole Foods. The company has spent heavily on research and innovation to develop the higher-margin natural products that are gaining market share faster than growth of the overall market.
“They are mineral-based and plant-based,” Saremi said. “And we also manufacture tradition sun-care products with chemicals. Our biggest area is organic, enviro-friendly products. They are not commodity products. And they are more expensive.”
The financial results resulted in robust growth, adding 100 jobs in the last 12 months, with plans creating an additional 50 jobs later this year.
In an interview with Star Tribune, Thursday, Saremi said Bell will post revenue of $50 million this year and approach $75 million in 2018. Two years ago, the company employed only about 80 people.
“We are far from done with the work to expand Bell Labs,” Saremi said. “We expect to employ up to 300 Minnesotans by the end of 2017 [and] add an additional 100,000 square feet to our Eagan campus.”
Saremi, who holds a Master’s of Arts in Analytical Chemistry from the Minnesota State University, Mankato, and a Master’s of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota, studied at Minnesota State University, Mankato. He founded Bell International Laboratories in 1996, after working as a chemist at other companies.
“I owe everything to this country,” said Saremi, who stayed here after the 1980 Iranian revolution that installed a conservative-religious government. “None of this would have happened without the people who work here.”