Born In a Barn
Maple Valley Plastics (originally called Laydon Company) was founded February 10, 1967 by Don Richardson. Mr. Richardson was the ripe old age of 23 when he kicked off the venture.
“We were literally born in a barn”, says Don. The company’s first residence was a tractor shed built in the 1800s called “The Bean Cooker”.
Humble beginnings didn’t stop “the little company that could” from winning successful programs with a diverse set of reputable customers. From contracts with the military to produce whistles to working with the leading fishing rod brands to manufacture fishing rod handles to even producing children’s toys, the company quickly gained a reputation across many markets for high quality and cost competitiveness.
Always the innovator, Don even found a way to manufacture petri dishes and deploy a sterile packaging system per strict medical specifications – in a barn!
Production in “The Bean Cooker” expanded to five presses: one 300 ton press and two each of a 200 and 75 ton capacity. Eventually, it was time to make a move.
“The Bean Cooker” – Mid 1970s
Don Richardson, July 1979, Inspecting Machines for the Move to Brown City.
Getting Settled Into New Facility – Summer 1979.
Move to the City
On Friday the 13th, 1979 the company was officially moved to 4119 E. Main Street in Brown City, Michigan. This is where the company resides today, though the facility has been expanded and improved dozens of times since the move.
The production capabilities improved greatly in the new facility and the company experienced drastic growth by winning new programs in high quality markets like Automotive and Medical.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Markets expand and contract, new opportunities and challenges come and go. But the creative and the competitive spirit that was “born in a barn” over 40 years ago continue to compel MVP today. In addition to serving global corporations, MVP is also currently bringing game-changing products to market for the next generation of inventors.
To learn how MVP can put 40+ years of proven success to work for you, click here.
Don Richardson, pictured here somewhere deep in Central America, has extensively travelled the world. But never as a tourist. His stated goal: “I always wanted to get the real feel of a place”. He’s favored huts over hotels and public trains over private drivers in some of the most remote places on the planet.
MVP Headquarters on first day – July 13th, 1979.
MVP Headquarters Today.