Nominated for:
• Best small business

• Family business of the year
• Lifetime achievement

We’re a unique family-run laundry, textile care, hygiene and cleaning product manufacturer with high hopes and unrivalled enthusiasm.

My dad, Mike Kalli, disrupted the traditional commercial laundry detergent industry as a handsome young chemist in the 1970s. Taking it further, he made the brave (some say crazy) decision to manufacture the products himself, going head-to-head with the ‘big soapers’ of the time. He wanted to ensure consistent supply, quality and total flexibility… knowing he could do it better.

What we’ve learned over the years, is that you have to keep improving. Whilst we’ve never been interested in being the biggest supplier, we do want to make Ideal better all the time, to continue our great British manufacturing story for generations to come. This drive for improvement and innovation is our mission: small innovations, everywhere we can, all the time.

Walk into the robust mid 20th-century factory building, tucked away from the main road, on the outskirts of Finedon, surrounded by the bright-yellow rapeseed fields of Northamptonshire, and you’ll notice some impressive changes are taking place…

As the morning sun pours in through the skylights, one of the production team is checking an order on the loading bay, whilst another programs the pallet wrap machine. A gleaming electric pallet lifter rolls quietly between the neatly organized warehouse racking, ready to load a line of waiting for articulated lorries with bulk containers of laundry detergent, starch, ancillaries and specialist textile care products. Formulated, manufactured and packaged on the premises, Ideal’s products are delivered to customers all across the UK, Europe – and increasingly much further afield!

Ideal has built a reputation as the independent British expert in professional laundry and cleaning chemical manufacture through experimentation, hard work and demonstrating the efficacy of formulations in the field – working in consultation with folks who use our products. Today we supply some of the biggest and best independent laundries in the UK, along with textile care specialists, top hotels, restaurants and a growing range of exciting white label projects.

When it comes to high-quality detergents, we’ll give anyone a run for their money.

What town/city are you based in?
WellingboroughNorthamptonshire (Midlands)

Number of generations
2nd generation

Manufacturing – Chemicals

Number of employees