Talent Key to Straw Maker's Growth

Posted: Updated:
(photo courtesy of Aardvark Straws) (photo courtesy of Aardvark Straws)
FORT WAYNE -

Fort Wayne-based Aardvark Straws is celebrating the opening of its more than 100,000-square-foot paper straw manufacturing facility. The company was acquired by Wisconsin-based Hoffmaster Group Inc. in August and President Rory Leyden says the $9 million project is the result of a rapidly-growing demand for alternatives to plastic straws, especially on the coasts. Aardvark has already hired more than 100 employees for the facility and has plans to add at least 50 more by the end the of year.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Leyden says the decision to stay in Fort Wayne was an easy one.

"The business was founded there and we think there's some real expertise as it relates to how the product is manufactured," said Leyden. "Aardvark utilizes a proprietary process to manufacture what we believe is the best paper straw manufactured anywhere in the world and the ability to do that exists in Fort Wayne. So, it's really a testament to the talent, to the people that are in the business today and we think they're best equipped to help us grow."

Leyden says the new facility puts the company on track to meet its goal of increasing production capacity by 700 percent this year alone. He says if the plastic straw market continues to convert to paper straws, then Aardvark has additional space that it could expand into in Fort Wayne.

"That will always be sort of the center of our North American production," Leyden said.

Leyden says the paper straws produced by Aardvark are more earth- and marine-friendly, which is helping to meet the needs of cities and companies that have banned or are planning to ban plastic straws. He says paper straws are naturally degradable both in landfills and in a marine environment.

You can find more information on the positions Aardvark is looking to fill at the Fort Wayne plant by clicking here.

Leyden says the decision to stay in Fort Wayne was an easy one.
Leyden says demand for plastic straw alternatives is growing for a number of reasons.
  • Perspectives

    • Startup Spirit Fuels Growth

      As the South Bend - Elkhart Region celebrates a $42.4 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., we know that the work to make the best investment with it is really just beginning. The spirit of entrepreneurship has been a vibrant part of our region for decades and the story of our family company could be somewhat of a guidebook for the region as it ventures forward. ITAMCO began as a dream of my uncle Donald Neidig and my father Noble Neidig to have their own business.

    More

Subscribe

Name:
Company Name:
Email:
Confirm Email:
HTML
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections
INPower
Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • (Rendering provided by the city of Fishers.)

      Flexware to Break Ground on Headquarters

      Fisher’s based engineering servicing firm, Flexware Innovation Inc., will break ground Thursday on its new headquarters the Nickel Plate District Amphitheater. The $3.5 million project will feature a 35,000-square-foot office building with 12,000-square feet of office space for Flexware and what it calls “a build-to-suit area” in the remaining space. 

    • The Waterside project aims to transform 100-acres of the former GM Stamping Plant site. (photo courtesy of Ambrose Property Group)

      Ambrose, Glick Partner on Waterside

      Indianapolis-based Ambrose Property Group has announced a key partnership for the redevelopment of the former GM Stamping Plant in downtown Indianapolis. The commercial real estate firm is teaming up with the Gene B. Glick Co. to build and manage apartments as part of the $1.4 billion mixed-use redevelopment project. Ambrose says the partnership is also part of plans to catalyze "philanthropic and community-centric strategies to strengthen Indianapolis." The firm also...

    • Photo courtesy of Lafayette Elementary School

      Hammond to Close Three Schools, to Cut Jobs

      The  School City of Hammond board has voted to close three schools and cut 130-150 positions. Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report Columbia and Lafayette Elementary schools, and the Miller School will close after this school year. 

    • Pearl will take the position on May 22

      Bloomington Launches Online Economic Development Tool

      The city of Bloomington has officially launched its new online development tool. The platform will streamline public data for current and prospective business owners and entrepreneurs.

    • (rendering courtesy of Brightmark Energy)

      Construction to Begin on Plastics-to-Fuel Plant

      California-based Brightmark Energy will today break ground on its $260 million plastics-to-fuel plant in the northeast Indiana town of Ashley. The 112,000-square-foot facility, which the company says will be the first of its kind in the nation, is expected to create 136 full-time jobs when fully operational. The plant will use a state-of-the-art process to recycle plastic waste that has reached the end of its useful life, including items that normally cannot be recycled, such as...