Bell’s success story began on 29 March 1869, when master butcher Samuel Bell-Roth opened the «Ochsenmetzg» butchery. In doing so, he laid the foundations for Bell’s success story.
Bell has grown from a small Swiss butcher’s shop to become today’s number one in Switzerland’s meat market and a leading European supplier of meat and charcuterie products.
Samuel Bell-Roth, the son of Johann Rudolf Bell-Stork, opens his «Ochsenmetzg» (ox butchery) at Streitgasse 13 in Basel on Easter Monday 29 March 1869.
Opening of the Bell family’s first branch at Spalenberg 13 in Basel. It is managed by Samuel Bell-Roth's son Eduard from 1893.
Establishment of the company «Samuel Bell Söhne»: Eduard Bell, Samuel Bell-Vollenweider and Rudolf Bell. Father Samuel Bell-Roth is also involved. 14 employees. When established, the company also acquires the properties at Streitgasse 20 and Weisse Gasse 21 across the road, which is used as a sales outlet from 1 November 1899. After the death of his wife in 1899, Samuel Bell-Roth marries Anna Baur in 1902.
Establishment of the company «Aktiengesellschaft Samuel Bell Söhne». Acquisition of a large site at Elsässerstrasse 174 - 188 in Basel (the company's current headquarters).
First collective labour agreement with the workers' association "Verband der Lebensmittel- und Genussmittelarbeiter der Schweiz", today's trade union for retail, trade, transport and food (VHTL)
Commissioning of the refrigerated warehouse at Elsässerstrasse with the 40-metre-high Bell Tower on 1 May 1913. Bell enters into an alliance with the former Swiss consumers' association, Verband Schweizerischer Konsumvereine (V.S.K.), today's Coop. Opening of branches in Bern.
With the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, 46 of the 123 branches are closed temporarily or permanently.
It all begins as Basel’s carnival celebrations get underway: the Bell Sausage is launched on 10 March 1924. It soon conquers Basel and then the whole of Switzerland thanks to its secret blend of condiments and an extra helping of Swiss beef for a crisp bite.
Bell celebrates its 25th anniversary (since the opening of the factory at Elsässerstrasse in 1908). Opening of a production plant in Zurich-Altstetten.
Establishment of the Bell Pension Fund, one of the first in Switzerland – formed by merging the pension foundation of Bell Ltd (employer; since 1924) and the staff pension fund of Bell Ltd (employees; since 1927).
Paul O. Althaus designs the logo in Roman type in his studio.
Opening of the staff quarters at Elsässerstrasse 174, with a staff canteen, changing rooms and sauna. The logo at this time:
Delicious Bell products are available more or less everywhere: Bell achieves its greatest level of expansion in Switzerland in 1962 with a total of 172 sales points.
"Belle Epoque" centenary celebration. Acquisition of Grieder AG in Oensingen followed by the construction of a new production facility (opening in 1971).
Bell's "Quick" specialities are launched on the market. Opening of branches in St. Moritz and Sion. Acquisition of the meat and sausage counters in most of the Jelmoli Group stores. Acquisition of the butchery Bachmann AG in Lucerne.
Opening of branches in Bellinzona and Davos. The Bell logo is multi-coloured for the first time.
Bell adopts a new corporate identity.
New collective employment agreement for all Bell Group companies (contracting partners: VHTL, MPV and SKV). Relocation of the Lausanne factory to new premises at the abattoir compound. 18 June: gathering at the headquarters in Basel for all Bell employees to celebrate the company's 120th birthday ("Bell Party").
Bell strengthens its charcuterie expertise by acquiring 100 % of the shares of Vulliamy SA.
Integration of SEG-Poulets AG into the Bell Group. Bell enters the poultry market through the acquisition of the company.
21 April: Bell Ltd changes its name to Bell Holding Ltd. Commissioning of the third expansion phase in Basel and the salami factory. Integration of the former GWI Group into the Bell Group.
1 January: merger of Grieder AG, Geflügel- und Wild-Import AG, SEG-Poulets AG, Cool Food AG, Top Toque SA, Fleisch AG Luzern and Vulliamy SA to form Bell Ltd.
September: presentation of a new Bell logo and launch of a new corporate design.
1 January: concentration on core business. Spin-off of own butcher's shops through a management buy-out.
Important cross-border initiative: Bell starts exporting charcuterie specialities to Luxembourg.
Bell takes over the French charcuterie manufacturer Polette.
This year Bell ventures into foreign markets by acquiring Polette (France), ZIMBO and Abraham (Germany)
140 years of Bell. Bell celebrates its 140th anniversary with a big competition and many special offers and activities. In January, Bell Holding Ltd takes over 75 percent of the shares of the German sausage manufacturer Abraham GmbH in Seevetal near Hamburg.
Bell Holding Ltd generates more than CHF 2 billion in sales revenue for the first time.
Bell and Hilcona decide to reorganise their complementary activities in the fresh convenience food sector under the management of Hilcona AG. As part of this merger, the Hilcona Group takes over Bell's convenience food division and Bell in return acquires 49 % of Hilcona. In May 2011, Bell takes over the German Hoppe GmbH (convenience).
Bell takes over Kocherhans und Schär AG in Churwalden. This acquisition provides Bell with its own drying facilities for the production of Graubünden specialities.
In Switzerland, Bell acquires Geiser AG, a specialist supplier to the food service segment, and the Valais-based charcuterie specialist Cher-Mignon SA. Bell takes over the Eisberg Group specialising in fresh convenience salads and fruit, merges Eisberg with Gastro Star and sets it up as an independent subsidiary of Hilcona.
Bell takes over the poultry specialist Huber Group.