ROCHEM International: Building A Bridge To Quality
Rochem International, Inc., Ronkonkoma, NY, was founded by president Robyn Yue Frisch in 1994 as an importer and distributor of food/feed additives, chemical, pharmaceutical and nutritional raw materials of Chinese origin. Ms. Frisch spoke about her background in China, which laid the foundation for Rochem’s formation. “I worked for one of the largest State-run import/export companies in China, the Yantai Branch of Sinochem,” she said. “During the six years I worked at Sinochem, I developed a network of suppliers and manufacturers in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries with whom I formed excellent relationships. At the time, they could not export their products independently like now, but instead had to do so through foreign trade companies only.”
In the early years, Rochem imported a few chemical and some bulk pharmaceutical ingredients, such as aspirin, acetaminophen, benzocaine, lidocaine and taurine. “In 1997, we won the bid for aspartic acid, an amino acid used to make polyaspartate, from a company in the Midwestern U.S. and we supplied about 1000 metric tons of aspartic acid to this customer,” explained Ms. Frisch. “During the manufacturing process of aspartic acid, a dozen other amino acids are produced in the same manufacture and as a result we started to market them as well.”
These amino acids included L-alanine, L-proline, L/DL-phenyalanine and L-tyrosine and so on. Gradually Rochem developed a full line of amino acids and in 1998, when the nutraceutical industry became very active, Rochem started to stock more and more products in public warehouses located in Chicago and New Jersey. In addition to amino acids, Ms. Frisch said the company started to notice increasing demands in the vitamin market. As a result, full lines of bulk vitamins, sweeteners and other sports nutrition products of Chinese origin were developed.
After being headquartered in Great Neck, NY, for nine years, Rochem purchased a 12,000 square foot office and warehouse facility in Ronkonkoma, NY, in January 2003. The new facility is located in the heart of Long Island’s dietary supplement and contract manufacturing industries and stocks a full line of amino acids, vitamins, sweeteners, food/feed additives and many other active pharmaceutical ingredients. Rochem also has three affiliated offices in China from the north to the south and two sales offices in the U.S.
Ms. Frisch commented on the advantages the new facility will provide for the company. “This new facility will allow Rochem to have better inventory control throughout the ordering process, expedite shipments and provide superior service to all our valued customers in different industries,” she said. “As a distributor, having full control over 200 different product inventories is a huge plus to our customers, who can get their orders released in the same day they’re placed.”
Earlier this year, Rochem further strengthened its position in the pharmaceutical and nutritional products industries with the appointment of Matt Thiel to the position of Midwest sales manager of pharmaceutical and nutritional products. Mr. Thiel has spent the last ten years with Perrigo Corp., the largest OTC manufacturer in the U.S., where he held various positions that focused on pharmaceutical and nutritional products.
Other recent events that have taken place at the company include Rochem’s partnership with Xinchang Pharmaceutical Factory, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in China. Located in the Xinchang, Zhejiang Province, Rochem signed an exclusive agreement with the company in April for vitamin E acetate 50% food grade for the North American market.
In other news, Beijing Taiyang Pharmaceutical Industrial Co. Ltd., Beijing, China, recently appointed Rochem as its exclusive agent for the North American market for diphenhydramine HCL USP grade. Beijing Taiyang is the largest producer of diphenhydramine HCL in China.
For the future, Ms. Frisch said, “Rochem’s knowledgeable team is dedicated to providing products and services, which consistently meet or exceed the requirements of our customers. We will continue to be a ‘bridge to quality’ for products of Chinese origin.”—T.W.
Rochem International, Inc.
980 South Second Street
Ronkonkoma, NY 11779