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Family business

The history of Optima is intrinsically linked with three, soon to be four, generations of the Bühler family, who have dedicated their lives to founding and successfully developing the company – and will continue to do so in the future. Tradition and consistency on one hand, new initiative and change on the other: It is precisely this dynamic and highly productive chemistry that marks Optima's continued success, made its "100 Years of Future" possible, and will continue to guide the family-owned company into a successful future.

November 1922: Otto Bühler, born in Esslingen in 1877, registered a new company into the Commercial Register. Name: Optima. With the active support of his wife Lina, he successfully established the young company on the market and navigated it through turbulent times. The couple had four children, and their son Hans was to take over the company's management one day. However, this was not to be. Hans died in 1925 when he was only 17 years old. Their son Max, who was pursuing other professional goals at the time, was now tasked with running the company.

Born in 1906, Max Bühler had a brilliant career after graduating from high school. He studied in Berlin, Oxford and Tübingen, received his doctorate in 1934, and worked as a high school teacher. At the beginning of World War II he was drafted and later taken prisoner. Upon his return at the end of the war, Max found his parents’ company in ruins. He could not shake the image. Together with his future wife Melitta, he embarked on rebuilding the company, assumed management and his vision set the course for Optima’s international rise. The marriage produced four children, and their son Hans followed in his father’s footsteps. Dr. Max Bühler played a decisive role in shaping the fortunes of the company until 1988.

A new era in the company's development began at the beginning of the 1980s when son Hans Bühler, a business graduate born in Schwäbisch Hall in 1955, joined the company. His era was characterized by extensive modernization, internationalization, and diversification. Optima expanded to become today's globally successful group of companies. The family of entrepreneurs also experienced encouraging growth: For several years now, with six additional shareholders, a new generation is ready to take on responsibility and continue the 100-year success story into the future.