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Richard Hellmann with wife and children
Richard Hellmann with wife and children ©Stadtarchiv Hellmann Stiftung

    Richard Hellmann, Hellmann’s Mayonnaise

    Born: 1876 | Died: 1971

    Richard Hellmann was born in Vetschau in the Spree Forest south of Berlin. In 1905, two years after arriving in the United States, he married the daughter of a delicatessen owner in New York City.

    His delectable recipe for mayonnaise was featured in salads and sold in the deli. The condiment quickly became so popular that Hellmann began selling it in "wooden boats" that were used for weighing butter.

    Originally Hellmann produced two kinds of mayonnaise and to tell the difference, he put a blue ribbon around one of them; that is how the now famous blue ribbon logo was created. Today "Hellmann's Blue Ribbon Mayonnaise" is sold worldwide and the Hellmann's name, still spelled in its original German way with a double N, is a well-known brand.

    Throughout his life Hellmann never forgot the city of his origin and was a generous donor. He became an honorary citizen of Vetschau in 1929.