Epic Plastics Inc. has expanded to a 100,000-square-foot site, relocating its headquarters to Lodi, Calif., about 80 miles northeast of its original production facility in Richmond, Calif.
The new site allows for growth compared with the original, 35,000-square-foot location, which now is dedicated to material preparation, officials said. Epic invested $3 million in the move, helped by a $1.7 million, low-interest loan from the California Integrated Waste Management Board in Sacramento, Calif.
Epic will be branching out into other products. The firm extrudes recycled polyethylene into landscape edging for use by architects and contractors, and it will begin offering a high-end, composite decking product to compete against clear-heart redwood. That product will be marketed under the Bella Rosso brand name.
``It's just going to be a small niche production for composites,'' President Craig Boblitt said in an Oct. 3 telephone interview. The firm will sell the product via current distribution channels. ``The decking will open new opportunities for us, but we have enough distribution now that I think we'll sell what we make.''
Epic secured the new site nearly one year ago, converting a former storage site into an extrusion facility, Boblitt said. He recently appointed Dan Crownover vice president of engineering and Lupe Salazar production manager. The site has four extrusion lines now with room to grow.
The firm entered the extrusion market in 1997 with 10 employees, boosted by a $25,000 grant from the American Plastics Council in Arlington, Va. Epic now employs 35.
The new site has ``room to add more extruders and other things, probably taking it up to 13 million pounds per month,'' Boblitt said. The privately held firm reported roughly $6 million in 2002 sales.