Faultless Starch/Bon Ami Company
|Founder(s)||Major Thomas G. Beaham|
|Headquarters||Kansas City, Missouri, United States|
|Products||See list of Faultless Starch/Bon Ami products|
Faultless Starch/Bon Ami Company is a privately owned business whose principal enterprise is manufacturing and marketing laundry, household cleaning products, air care, and lawn & garden products, to consumer and commercial markets. The company headquarters, manufacturing plant, research laboratory, and distribution center are located in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.
This company's products also include Magic, the Garden Weasel, Kleen King, Trapp Private Gardens and Evoque.
In 1886, Major Thomas G. Beaham (1842-1909) came to Kansas City and bought into a company selling coffee, tea, and spices, which was to become Beaham & Moffit. Later, it was renamed to Faultless Starch Company. After adding Bon Ami products to the line, the company again changed its name to Faultless Starch/Bon Ami Company in 1974.
Major Beaham's first product, dry white starch, earned immediate acceptance among housewives of the late 1880s because it was simple to use and did not require lengthy boiling. It was found that the product had many uses other than starching clothes, such as adding an elegant finish to embroidery and lace, treating skin irritations and as both a baby powder and a bath powder.
The company is still run by the Beaham family with Gordon T. Beaham, III, the great-grandson of Major Thomas G. Beaham, serving as Chairman and Co-CEO; and Robert B. Beaham, a member of the fifth generation of family members to be active in the business, serving as Vice-Chairman, Treasurer and Co-CEO. David G. Beaham, who served President and Co-CEO, until his death in 2011, was also a member of the fifth generation of family members to serve at Faultless. Carolyn Beaham West, Vice-President and a sibling of Robert and David, serves as head of the Bon Ami brand and as the Director of Sustainability.
Faultless Starch Books
The 'Faultless Starch Books' were a line of primers that were given as bonuses to early purchasers of the product, beginning in the 1890s. A company salesman, John Nesbitt, had begun attaching basic reader books to the boxes using rubber bands. Nesbitt took wagon loads of these to Texas to help move his product. This marketing tool helped enhance the popularity of the product, particularly in Texas and the Indian Territory. The books were used as supplements to –and, sometimes– substitutes for, regular school texts; helping many people learn how to read. Thirty-six of these books were published from the 1890s to the 1930s, including such children's staples as the "ABC book", "Little Red Riding Hood", and "The Ant and Grasshopper", to name a few.
Faultless Starch/Bon Ami is located in the oldest section of Kansas City, Missouri, USA, which since Lewis & Clark, has been regarded as an ideal commercial distribution point, being near the geographic center of North America; near the confluence of the Missouri River and the Kansas River; and served by major rail lines and highways.
The district has also been known as the Town of Kansas, the French Bottoms, the West Bottoms, and the Stockyard District. This location helps the company efficiently import raw material from America and around the world, and export finished goods.
1800's to 2008
The original Faultless Starch Company plant was rebuilt after the flood of 1903 in the West Bottoms area of Kansas City. As the company grew and required more space, the plant was expanded at the existing site at 1025 West Eighth Street. In 1968, it was apparent that the business had outgrown its office space within the plant building. The New England Building, constructed in 1887 (the year Faultless was founded) was purchased. The company offices moved into the building at Ninth and Wyandotte Streets in 1978. In 1991, the company moved its offices to the River Market district of Kansas City. It is a colorful, restored river landing district on the banks of the Missouri River.
The company moved to its current headquarters in 2009.
Commitment to the environment
Faultless' long-time commitment to the environment, and participation in a "green" district association, were embraced in the design phase of the redevelopment of their headquarters. The company uses a variety of: roof solar panel technology, rain-collection systems, recycled/re-purposed lumber, Riverfront Heritage Trail System access, energy conservation programs, industrial & office recycling, packaging reduction programs, emission reduction programs, environmental scorecards, and DfE (Designed for the Environment) product development strategies.
The International Division of Faultless Starch/Bon Ami Company has been exporting specialty cleaning and laundry care products worldwide since 1962. What began as a venture to supply products to United States military commissaries around the world has grown into a full global effort, with products sold in 30 foreign markets, including Europe, South and Central America, Asia, and beyond.
Garden Weasel is a garden implement with three sets of rotating tines for loosening soil. It has been sold by the Faultless Starch/Bon Ami Company beginning in 1976. It was one of the first products sold in North America using dealer-tagged TV marketing. The first pitchman was Jerry Baker, the well-known gardener. The subsequent pitchman who appeared on camera in the TV ads for this product was Jim Martindale, a longtime announcer and voice talent from Indianapolis, Indiana. Garden Weasel also makes several other products with varying uses:
- Garden Weasel, the 5-way cultivating tool. The rotary tines bring weeds to the surface. It combines the functions of both a hoe and spade. Garden Weasel is designed for soil to even deeper levels.
- Weasel Claw Pro, features repositionable cultivating tines for weeding or cultivating tight areas or wider expanses. Works hand-in-hand with Garden Weasel to maintain garden beds all season long. Users also recommend it for heavy soils, including clay.
- Garden Claw, a gardening tool with four curved tines arrayed around a central pole, designed to break up harder soil by pushing downwards while twisting. Works with many soils. It has comfort-grip handles, and the spiral turn action offers 4 actions in 1: cultivating, loosening, aerating and weeding.
- Edger Chopper, has an ergonomic comfort-grip handle, extra wide footplate and carbon steel blade made for professional looking landscaping. Sculpts lawn safely and easily.
- Weed Popper Pro, makes it easy to remove weeds by using a powerful, patented foot-lever tool. It's more effective for weed removal in southern or warm season grass zones and in areas where there's more sand in the soil. To operate, the user pushes the tines into the weed base and presses down with their foot, to pop out the weeds, with no chemical treatments.
- Weed Popper Step & Twist, is used to remove many weeds, including dandelions, by using its unique plug-ejecting feature. To operate, the user pushes the tines onto the weed, presses down with their foot and twists the handles, to pop out the weeds, with no chemical treatments.
- Nut Gatherer, picks up pecans, acorns, walnuts, butternuts, hickory nuts, chestnuts, filberts, gum balls, seeds, and more. Also picks up fruit and small balls. Some users report using the Weasel Nut Gatherer to pick up: small pine cones, seed heads, shotgun shells, reusable paintballs, and a variety of other debris.
- Nut Gatherer Pro, is an easy to use rolling pick up tool for nuts and more. Picks up pecans, acorns, walnuts, butternuts, hickory nuts, chestnuts, filberts, gum balls, seeds, and more. The Weasel Gatherer Pro can also collect fruit, such as, apples, lemons and limes. Many users have reported a number of extended uses, such as picking up golf balls, small pine cones, seed heads, shotgun shells, olives, reusable paintballs and a variety of other debris.
Other consumer brands
The Faultless Starch/Bon Ami Company continues to delight consumers with products that address the needs of today's world.
- Faultless Starch History and Timeline
- Note: Titles included 1. The Fairies, 2. Trials of Mrs. Graycoat, 3. Mother Goose Rhymes, 4. The Princess Bride, 5. Six Little Frogs, 6. Four Little Sunbonnets, 7. A Trip to the Moon, 8. Chin-Chin and Chow, 9. The Owl and Pussy Cat, 10. The Indians, 11. The Ant and Grasshopper, 12. The Starch Ghosts, 13. Conundrums and Jokes, 14. Proud Tommy Tilt, 15. Old Uncle Ritts, 16. Old Granny Grak, 17. Bin and Bun, 18. Sallie Short and Lillie Long, 19. ABC Book, 20. The House That Jack Built, 21. Ten Little Pickaninnies, 22. Upside Down Land, 23. The Reformed Pig, 24. Three Naughty Kittens, 25. Elisa May, 26. Honey, 27. The Van Troons, 28. Gentle Jane, 29. Mildred and Rosa, 30. Little Jack, 31. The Lunch Party, 32. Hans and Gretel, 33. Little Red Riding Hood, 34. Biddy and Paddy, 35. The Three Wise Women, 36. The Tuttle's Fourth of July. See Books of Paradise