Okolona, Mississippi based Chickasaw Container Corporation marks its 40th Ruby Anniversary this year and there is a lot to celebrate with the recent install of a new flexo folder gluer, a major expansion anticipated to be complete in coming months, and the pride that comes with being part of an organization that has been successful for decades. 

Its wner, Bud Davis, is quick to point out that a lot of people — namely their “wonderful people and fabulous customers” — have made this possible since some “furniture guys” got the ball rolling.

This would be Davis’ father, the late Travis Davis, and cousin, the late Lynn Davis, who turned their Astro-Lounger furniture plant into a box plant in 1983.

The elder father was moving his furniture operation to Holcomb, Mississippi, but a slot fed letter press and the two stitchers that were used to run upholstered furniture boxes stayed.

“Neither one of them were box guys,” Davis said. But by 1990, the first small press was purchased giving them entrance into new markets outside the furniture industry.

In 1985, they moved into their present location in Chickasaw County some 20 miles south of Tupelo. They are now on their third expansion creating an additional 22,500-square-feet to their custom-built facility which will have more storage for raw materials, more space for new machinery, and extra elbow room for nearly every aspect of the plant’s operation from shipping to finishing to office.

It’s been about a year in the making but there was considerable infrastructure work to complete, including loads and loads of dirt to build the slab and utility relocation.

At the same time, Corrugated Machinery Specialists of Orange, California, was installing a rebuilt 38-inch by 94-inch S&S flexo folder gluer which added new energy to the plant floor.

Other investments in recent years include a Gazzella double head stitch, double head glue finishing machine, a 98-inch Solarco boxmaker, an Emba Mini Flexo Folder Gluer, a 66-inch by 135-inch Hycorr three-color rotary die cutter, a Haire machinery semi-automatic gluer, and a 47-inch Martin flexo folder gluer with two-color capabilities.

Davis said they have been on a slow but steady growth trajectory in the 33 years he has been with the company.

“We do good work and word of mouth has helped us,” he said. “We have grown by taking care of our customers and our people.”

This approach didn’t stop during the “big burst” as Davis refers to the Covid pandemic when e-commerce sparked a huge growth spurt and new business opportunities. Loyal customers, however, would come first. 

“There are only so many hours a day, but we made a point to take care of the people who had been buying from us for years,” Davis said.

Davis said they plan to have an official anniversary/expansion celebration with their 106 employees later in the fall. As for the future?

Chickasaw Container says it looks forward to continuing its mission to be the world’s greatest box factory.

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