We’re proud of our history! Feel free to browse these articles from the early days of United Packaging.

Small Business Week ’88

St. Louis Commerce ’94

St. Louis Post Dispatch

St. Louis Business Journal ’94

UPC was founded by Lee Usina and Keith Payne, who had both retired from Monsanto in 1985 and formed United Packaging Corporation. While with Monsanto they experienced a need for contract packaging, blending, and milling but were unable to find any existing vendors capable of providing these services in the St. Louis region. Upon retirement, they approached John Corder and Wayne Brent, owners of the John Corder Equipment Company with their idea. The four men joined forces and UPC was incorporated on December 19, 1985. Loan approvals, equipment purchases, construction and erection of equipment began and were completed in time for UPC to begin production in October 1987.

At the annual board of directors meeting for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 1992 the board decided a change in leadership was needed at the top and elected L Flynt Usina to replace original co-founder Keith Payne as president. Flynt bought Keith’s stock in UPC a year later. Under new management the company hired a marketing consultant and implemented internal cost controls.  In 1995 The plant was expanded from 4166 SF to 8140SF and added 800 SF company offices. Blending was added and located in the new plant addition with the backing of a contract from Monsanto.

In 2007 Mississippi Lime found a market for new product and they needed a packager. UPC was profitable and everything looked bright for the future. Unfortunately, on March 17, 2008 UPC had a devastating fire that destroyed our buildings and process equipment. With the economy as it was in 2008 UPC was unsure of its future at that time. UPC approached its major client, Mississippi Lime about UPC’s plans to rebuild so it could quickly restore services for Mississippi Lime. Mississippi Lime committed to having UPC package bulk bags on a more limited basis as UPC as it restored capacity. Because of the strength of our relationship, Mississippi Lime inquired what percentage of their business was needed for UPC to rebuild quickly and effectively, and ultimately asked if we could be operational by June 1, 2009, at which time they would have us handle all of their packaging needs. UPC got to work and rebuilt with a new 4000SF warehouse which connected to the 1100 SF production room that had been salvaged from the fire. UPC was operational by the first week of June. Since that time, Mississippi Lime volumes have exceeded 8000 tons annually. The tonnage has ranged from 10000-13000 tons.