In the News

Posted 05/10/2013

Hearthside to sell cereals unit
Post Foods’ parent company will pay $158 million cash for the former Golden Temple operation in Eugene

Post Holdings, the parent company of Post Foods, is buying Hearthside Food Solutions’ cereals and granola business in Eugene for $158 million cash, Post said Thursday. Hearthside bought the business from Golden Temple in 2010. link above for full story

Posted 04/08/2013

Right niche at the right time
Richardson Sports grows from a family operation to a firm with an international reach

Richardson Sports traces its beginning to 1970, when Neil Richardson, father of current CEO Kelly Richardson, joined a company called Wicklund Sporting Goods. Neil Richardson and Howard Wicklund operated the company as a regional wholesale sporting goods company for five years before Richardson bought the business from Wicklund, changed the name to Richardson Sports and began expanding it.

Today, his son has continued on that growth path, opening up new markets, carving out a niche for the company as a producer of customized baseball caps and turning Richardson Sports into a company with an international reach. link above for full story

Posted 8/20/2012

Handle on recycling
Eugene packaging firm aims to use more recycled plastic in its handles

Like many businesses that make products using virgin plastic, Eugene-based PakTech is facing an identity crisis.

The national marketplace, responding to a more environmentally conscious consumer base, is shifting slowly toward recycled plastics, forcing plastic manufacturers to adapt.

Since the 1990s, PakTech, a family-run business based in two factories in an industrial section of west Eugene, has produced the handles that bind the multi-packs of food products that can be found on the shelves of Costco stores and other bulk retailers.

The company’s handles are used on everything from juice, soda, beer and salsa to cleaning products, mouthwash and fabric softener. The company’s most popular handle is what they call their TwinPak — which binds two items — but their product line is malleable: new handles are being developed constantly to meet the specific needs of their customers’ products. link above for full story

Posted 5/29/2012

No vacancies: Sales and leases of long-empty local buildings are picking up

"In late March, Eugene ball-cap maker Richardson Sports bought the former Shorewood Packaging plant in Springfield for $6.475 million.................Richardson Sports’ core business, selling baseball caps to athletic teams, remained strong through the recession. The 150-employee company was outgrowing its space in west Eugene, so Richardson had been looking for a roomier facility for about a year and a half. He also said he considered new construction, but it made more financial sense to buy an existing building. 'I think there’s some good buys out there,' Richardson said. 'I think the market for commercial real estate has gotten to a point where it’s attractive from a price standpoint, and I think there are a lot of companies out there that are willing to take advantage of that.'"

Posted 4/24/2012

So many jobs lost — will they come back?

GloryBee, a Eugene natural foods producer and distributor, is projecting sales growth of 10 percent this year.
The cost of food and the costs of doing business have been rising over the past two years, and it looks like that will continue in 2012, said vice president Alan Turanski, whose parents Dick and Pat Turanski founded the business in 1975. The company, which opened a new distribution center near the airport in June, has 145 employees now, and it could add up to five more employees by the end of the year, Alan Turanski said.


FOOD for Lane County staff have been figuring out how to package an appealing soup mix that they can present to food bank patrons. They developed recipes that can be cooked in under an hour on a stovetop or in less than six hours in a slow cooker.

The food bank is getting flavor help from Eugene-based GloryBee Foods. The natural foods company is donating 350 pounds of spice from its Aunt Patty’s line — both chili spice and vegetarian “chicken” flavoring. That’s enough flavoring for the first 6,000 pounds of lentils.


Cap maker doubling its space

Richardson Sports buys the vacant Shorewood Packaging plant in Springfield so that it can continue to expand

SPRINGFIELD — Richardson Sports, a Eugene company that supplies caps to athletic teams, has bought the long-vacant Shorewood Packaging plant at 500 International Way and will move its headquarters and manufacturing to Springfield in the fall.

The move will double the company’s space, CEO Kelly Richardson said Friday, and allow it to continue growing and hiring more people.

The property, which includes a 136,253-square-foot building on 14 acres, had been listed at $10 million but sold for $6.475 million. At one time, it had been on the Springfield tax rolls at more than $20 million. The deal was financed by two local banks, Richardson said, Siuslaw and Century.

Richardson Sports supplies baseball caps to a wide range of teams and athletes, from Little League to college and professional teams, as well as to companies for promotional campaigns.

Sales flattened during the worst of the recession, but, “Our core business was still strong at that time,” Richardson said. “I’m thankful that kids need to buy new baseball caps each year.”

Even with the recession, he said, “We’ve been able to maintain our employee base and have regained most of the lost revenue over the last two years. 2011 was a good year for us, and I believe 2012 will be one of the best years we’ve ever had.”

Had considered leaving the area
As the company outgrew its existing plant at 100 Cap Court in west Eugene, Richardson began looking around for a new home. Because Richardson Sports serves a national market and already has a facility in Pittsburgh, he said he considered leaving Oregon and moving to a more centrally located area.

“At the end of the day, we decided we wanted to stay home, keep the jobs here and our team of people together,” Richardson said.

Springfield city officials and the Lane Metro Partnership played a big part in this process, he said. “They helped us to make the decision to stay local.”

Richardson plans to move his company to Springfield in September or October, a slack season, after doing some remodeling and renovation on the building. He hasn’t set a budget yet for that, but said, “We’re planning ... to incorporate as many green, energy-saving features as possible into the building.”

There’s also some deferred maintenance work that needs to be taken care of in a building that has been vacant for about three years, Richardson said.

After that, he’s planning to start growing again. “We’d like to see 5 to 10 percent annual growth, we think that’s achievable,” Richardson said.

The company, which doesn’t disclose annual sales, has about 5,000 active accounts, mostly in the United States. “We also do a fairly good business in Central America and some in Western Europe,” he said.

The company also will increase its existing staff of 150 people by at least 10 percent, he said.

Richardson Sports received a Business Workforce Award from the Lane Workforce Partnership last year for, among other things, providing competitive wages and full benefits to employees.

Company found its own niche
The company faces some stiff competition, including from such mega sportswear makers as Nike and adidas, but it has been able to carve out a successful niche for itself by doing things a little bit differently, Richardson said.

It uses offshore manufacturers but also has its own factory in Eugene that does custom orders. It can handle both small and large orders and prides itself on speed.

“Everybody wants it customized today, and everybody wants it quick,” Richardson said. “We turn orders around from within one week to three weeks during our peak season.”

“Our athletic team dealers are not able to order far in advance, and it’s all made to order,” he said, adding that Richardson Sports has been able to build a reputation by meeting the need for speed without sacrificing quality.

Springfield city officials are happy to have the building occupied again, Community Development Manager John Tamulonis said.

“It’s nice to have someone who will stay in there, keep the jobs here,” Tamulonis said.

A number of companies had looked at the site in the past few years, including some Fortune 500 companies, according to broker John Brown, who represented the seller, “but they couldn’t make it work.”

Because Richardson Sports is buying an existing building that is already on the tax rolls, it won’t qualify for the tax incentives that come with building a factory, Tamulonis said. But if Richardson makes a major investment in new equipment, there is an incentive that is equal to about 5 percent of the value of that equipment, Tamulonis said.

And there would be enterprise zone incentives if Richardson decides to build on the site, which the city of Springfield would be delighted to see, Tamulonis said.

Having Richardson Sports in the Gateway area helps raise the profile of that part of Springfield, which already has such major employers as PeaceHealth. Royal Caribbean and Symantec, Tamulonis said.

“We have close to 10,000 employees in the Gateway area,” he said, “That’s not insignificant.”

It also sends an important message to other employers looking at the Eugene-Springfield area — that a successful, growing company chose to relocate within this area when they needed more space, rather than moving to a larger urban area or other state, Tamulonis said.

Richardson Sports

Founded: In the 1960s by Howard Wicklund and Neil Richardson

Current owners: The Richardson family

Number of employees: 150

Annual revenues: Not disclosed