Henri Nestlé began as a pharmacist’s assistant but when he sold the company which bore his name at the age of 60 it was already an international success selling his famous milk-based baby food – Farine Lactée - across five continents.
Henri Nestlé recognized the importance of branding from the very beginning. His logo, featuring small birds being fed in a nest on an oak branch, was based on his family’s crest. Although it has been updated over the years, it remains the recognisable and distinctive logo of Nestlé today.
Henri Nestlé began his business in the small Swiss lakeside town of Vevey, using milk from the local area. Vevey is still where the global headquarters of Nestlé remains today.
Henri Nestlé initially worked as a pharmacist’s assistant in Vevey between 1839 and 1843. His training in chemistry and his scientific background shaped his attitude and his future approach to business. An entrepreneur and constant innovator, he experimented with the production of everything from lemonade to cement before inventing the Farine Lactée formula that would spell his fortune.
Originally, Henri Nestlé bought the milk needed for his baby food each morning but by the summer of 1869, two years after launching the Farine Lactée this was no longer practical, so he decided to buy his supplies from a milk collection centre in a small village near Vevey, from where it was delivered to the factory.