Jerad Miller, operations manager at New Method Packaging, talks about one of the packaging products they produce Tuesday, March 20, 2018. Bill Lackey/Staff

Springfield pizza box maker to start $1M expansion

A Springfield packaging firm that supplies pizza boxes for several of the region’s most popular restaurants will begin a roughly $1 million expansion next month.

New Method Packaging started in Springfield in 1982 after Neil Miller lost a job and started producing disposable pizza circles from his home. The company eventually began producing cardboard boxes for pizza restaurants across Ohio, and has slowly grown since, said Jerad Miller, the company’s operations manager and the founder’s grandson.

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The company, which now produces boxes for regional chains like Cassano’s Pizza and Marion’s Piazza, grew from a dozen employees in 2012 to 29 employees this year.

“We’re definitely experiencing some growing pains to accommodate all the new business,” Jerad Miller said.

The new expansion likely won’t create a lot of new jobs. But it will provide about 15,000 square feet of additional space that will allow New Method to store products for additional customers as it continues to grow.

The company is located at 1805 Commerce Road and the expansion would take over a portion of the property that’s now used for parking. New shipping docks also will likely be added in an area that’s now used for office space.

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“With the extra space we’ll be able to organize production better and it will last four or five yeas and allow us to add another four or five employees if we continue growing at our current rate,” Miller said.

The project is expected to begin in April and continue for four to six months until the expansion is complete. The company works with a distributor in Cleveland and ships its products within a 250-mile radius of its Springfield manufacturing plant. New Method has been pushing to grow the business in recent years and has seen steady results, Miller said.

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“We’ve just got a lot of new people that pushed it in that direction,” Miller said.

Along with producing boxes for regional chains, New Method also makes and prints custom boxes for local restaurants like the Barn Pizza, O’Conner’s Irish Pub and Paddy’s Backdoor Pizza. Workers also produce bakery packaging products for several customers.

Most of the materials New Method uses to make its products comes from local suppliers, said Russell Stewart, production manager.

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“We do a lot of local business,” Stewart said. “Most of our material is here in Ohio.”

City officials recently approved an enterprise zone agreement to provide assistance to the company, said Bryan Heck, Springfield’s deputy city manager. The agreement includes a 10-year, 60-percent tax abatement on the additional value of the building created by the expansion.

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“They are a growing business and this project will support and help sustain that growth,” Heck said. “They’re a great company that is innovative in their industry and are constantly looking at ways to improve their process and their efficiency.”

The company’s previous office was located at 220 Monroe St., but the company outgrew that space and moved to its current location on Commerce Road in 2006.

The expansion is needed because the company is already using nearly all of the roughly 80,000 square feet of available space, Miller said.

“In order to keep growing like we’ve grown, we need to add on,” Miller said.

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