There aren’t many businesses that can say they are in their fifth generation. For John Koster, president of Koster Keunen Manufacturing, located in Watertown, CT, there is a sense of responsibility to make it to the sixth and seventh generations. Established by newlyweds Johanna Keunen and Bernhard Koster in Holland in 1852, Koster Keunen has been a world leader in natural wax for over 160 years. Their refined waxes can be found in cosmetics, automotive applications, pharmaceuticals and inks, to name just a few. Recognizing the rising need for organic products, they were the first natural wax company in the U.S. to obtain the USDA Organic Handling Certificate. John’s over 14 year business banking relationship with Union Savings Bank has grown as the business has grown, to where the U.S. location now occupies over 100,000 square feet. A revolving line of credit helps finance the company’s seasonal purchases so Koster Keunen can deliver materials year round. Providing for customers as their needs arise – it’s a goal we have in common.
I grew up in this business. It was always something that I wanted to do. Some kids have summer jobs raking leaves or mowing lawns; mine was actually working on these slabbing machines in a room just like this. My name is John Koster, the president of Koster Keunen Manufacturing. We are a wax refining company in Watertown, Connecticut. Primarily what we do is we purchase crude, natural waxes from all over the world. We bring it in house, we melt it, we clean it up, and then we sell it to the end user. The business was started back in 1852 by my great great grandfather and grandma. We’ve been with Union Savings Bank for almost ten years. When we have a banking relationship that’s personal like we have with Union Savings Bank, it allows our company to be more flexible with how we purchase, when we purchase. A lot of our purchases are seasonal, so that line of credit is an extremely important part of our business. If I have a question or I have a concern, we found that with Union Savings Bank, we pick up the phone there’s always someone on the other end with whom we have a direct relationship. There aren’t very many fifth generation businesses. I look at it as a responsibility and an obligation to make sure that we get to the sixth and to the seventh generation.