Jost Chemical Celebrates 30 Years
After three decades of putting customers first, Jost Chemical enjoys being a global leader in the production of high purity chemicals for the pharmaceutical, biotech, nutritional and specialty markets.
The year was 1985. In a modest warehouse on The Hill in South City, a chemical engineer started assembling his dream with some used chemical equipment and retirees from larger chemical companies. Jerry Jost, who had garnered experience at several companies including Mallinckrodt, knew the key to success was finding the right people to get you there. “We were just hoping to stay in business somehow,” Jerry said. “Like most startups, we were short on cash and just trying to survive. Thankfully, I had a great team.”
Fast forward 30 years, and here we are: Jost Chemical has become a global leader in the production of high purity chemicals for pharmaceutical, biotech, nutritional and specialty markets. Jost now operates from a 310,000-square-foot campus near the STL airport. Jost manufactures more than 200 products on site at their FDA-registered facilities while continuing to innovate and introduce new items. “Part of our company’s culture is expansion,” Jerry said. “We’re constantly putting in new equipment to grow our capabilities.”
Last year, the company grossed $60M and has enjoyed double-digit compound annual growth for the past 15 years. Because they now export product to over 60 countries, Jost added an international distribution center in Belgium and launched a sales presence in Asia. Their roster exceeds 200 employees – a quarter of which are chemists and engineers.
“Expansion is exciting, and it’s rewarding in so many ways,” said Julie Parrish, Production Coordinator and 12-year Jost employee. “But I’m most proud to be on the team that helped build Jost. That focus on customer service – that’s what fueled our growth, so it naturally makes us very proud.”
Jost takes great pride in being operated by those responsible for its growth. It’s a family-owned company and much of the leadership has been on staff for more than 15 years. Managers take a hands-on approach, and optimizing the Jost customer experience remains the top priority.
“Face-to-face meetings with customers allow our managers to learn more about their individual needs, so we maintain strong client relationships,” said Jerry. “We stay abreast of new developments in the industry by staying close to our customers. It’s how we learn about trends, supply issues and organizational changes.”
How do you keep a good thing going for so long? It’s simple chemistry. In this industry, purity means quality. Every product is rigorously tested in house for the utmost consistency and traceability. Innovation is another top priority. According to R&D specialist Joe Hardimon, “We have some of the best analytical capabilities of any laboratory in St. Louis.”
Three decades is a long time, but the company isn’t slowing down. “When I think about where we started and where we are today, selling worldwide,” Jerry said, “I am so thankful for our staff. For 30 years, we’ve all maintained that commitment to giving customers our best and always having their interests at heart. I believe our corporate culture is what’s allowed us to grow so significantly. We have high expectations of people, and we hire really great people, so they perform well. We’ve just been very fortunate.”