American Made: Meet Our Michigan Baby Box Manufacturer
Posted by: September 18, 2017 How Smitten is MadePublished on:
An Interview with Landaal Packaging Systems
While Pip & Grow was in its infancy with nothing more than an ugly-duckling Smitten prototype, we committed to creating a company that would positively impact our world at every level. As we researched different manufacturing partners around the globe, we realized that it was more important to us to support stable jobs for American families than it was to increase our margins. We also worried about the risk of babies making our baby products in a foreign country. After a thorough search, we asked Landaal Packaging Systems in Flint, Michigan to help us produce our American made baby box.
Landaal is much more than a manufacturer; good-hearted, capable people fill the company. Landaal is a trusted extension of our team. We sat down with Bob Landaal, VP of Sales and Marketing to learn a little more about his company. After our discussion, we love them even more!
Landaal has been around for a long time. What does it mean to you to be the third generation in your family to work for the company?
I am honored to help lead the business my family built into the next generation. When my grandfather started the company in 1959, business was good and the economy was thriving. Afterward, my father and my uncles carried on the legacy and helped build a strong foundation that withstood some tough years. The recession hit our business and our community hard, but we grew through those experiences and have come out smarter and stronger than before. I’m proud of the work we’ve accomplished and look forward to the years ahead.
Working with Pip & Grow is a bit of a diversion from your normal packaging and point of sales work. What is it like working with a small start-up company to produce American made baby boxes?
Working with entrepreneurs like Pip & Grow is fun and rewarding. They come to us with a mission and they’re fueled by passion. Each project has it’s own challenges, but they inspire us to think creatively and to put our heads together to come up with effective, innovative solutions to complex problems. It’s a great feeling when a design comes together. It’s an added bonus when it’s for a great cause like Pip & Grow’s.
Even though Europeans have been using baby boxes for nearly 80 years, some American parents are uncomfortable with the idea of a bassinet box. As a company that has worked with packaging for 50 years, what would you want them to know about cardboard?
Corrugate (cardboard) really is amazing stuff. It’s one of the safest, most eco-friendly and cost effective materials on the market. It’s durable, non-toxic, recyclable or compostable, and sustainably made. It doesn’t get much more natural than that.
Landaal is very active in the Flint community. Why is it important that your company gives back to the community?
We take pride in Flint and being a part of such a strong, resilient community. Community service, being involved and giving back are integral parts of our company culture. Over the years we’ve worked with a number of organizations, including the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Crim Fitness Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, Children’s’ Miracle Network, and more. As a family and as a business, we are a reflection of our community and it’s our responsibility to take care of it. We all work, live and play here. It’s our home and we want to leave it better than we found it.
From boats to furniture, the company has designed some incredible things from cardboard. What is the most mind-blowing thing you’ve seen done with corrugate?
Besides the Smitten? We have several items in our office made from corrugate. Our conference table and the chairs in our lounge are some of the most popular pieces by far. They get a lot of attention from our visitors. Last year, for one of our major trade shows, we built an entire log cabin out of corrugate and other packaging materials for our “Landaal Lodge” themed booth. It was pretty impressive!
Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?
Just that we are grateful to be able to pursue our passion for American made packaging and to serve Pip & Grow and our many customers who’ve supported us along the way. We wouldn’t be where we are today without them. We are thrilled to have been in business for over 50 years and we’re looking forward 50 more.
About Landaal Packaging
Since 1959, we’ve helped customers solve their packaging problems with innovative ideas, uncompromising product quality and on-time delivery. You’ll also discover a host of value added services designed to make your job easier and more cost-effective. As a family-owned business, Landaal Packaging Systems offers a tradition of consistent, reliable service to our many customers. Please visit landaal.com or call 800.616.6619 to learn more.