Fabri-Kal was incorporated in 1950 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, when seven shareholders purchased the plastic segment of the Kalamazoo Paper Box Company and set up shop in 5,000 square feet of a former A&P grocery store.
The first major equipment purchase, affectionately termed ‘the monster’, was a multi-faceted machine that produced paint cups for the paint-by-number industry. Other equipment acquisitions soon followed including a Plax pressure forming machine to produce oriented polystyrene meat trays and pizza lids.
Fabri-Kal diversified into proprietary stock packaging products, including plastic cups, lids and acrylic chair mats. The company built a 25,000 square foot manufacturing facility on East Cork Street in Kalamazoo. And by 1961, a second Fabri-Kal manufacturing plant began operation in Hazleton, Pennsylvania.
In 1969, as its employee roster neared 400, the Fabri-Kal Foundation was established to support cultural diversity and provide higher-education tuition assistance to young-adult children of Fabri-Kal employees. Fabri-Kal built its third plastic packaging plant in Piedmont, South Carolina, in 1981, the same year a new headquarters building was constructed in Kalamazoo.
In 2008, Fabri-Kal purchased a 400,000-square-foot vacant plant in Kalamazoo and began a two-year renovation with environmental responsibility in mind. In 2010, the new state-of-the-art design and manufacturing facility was awarded LEED® Silver certification as a high-performance green building. After 60 years of leadership and growth, Fabri-Kal is still privately held and home to more than 800 employees.
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