A Brief History
The late B.T. Hoffmaster founded the company of Hoffmaster in February 1947 for the express purpose of manufacturing paper napkin products. Initially, the company was located on the second floor of an Oshkosh, Wisconsin warehouse. The operation consisted of one standard machine used in the manufacture of printed paper napkins and employed four people. During the 1950's, the company enhanced its reputation and market growth by offering restaurants a complete printed ensemble consisting of placemats, accompanied by matching dinner and cocktail napkins. Another development during this period was the introduction of disposable tablecovers made in decorator colors.
To expedite expansion plans and gain other benefits associated with a larger corporation, the company merged in 1970 with the Amstar Corporation. As a wholly owned subsidiary, the company continued to grow and expansion plans were completed in 1972. The site consisted of 238,000 square feet of operating space and a 22,000 square foot office. In February 1979, the company was acquired by an Oshkosh group of investors headed by T. J. Hoffmaster, son of the founder.
Scott Paper Company in Philadelphia, PA purchased the company in 1985. This merger was an important step for Scott's growth strategy to build its position in the expanding away-from-home foodservice market. It provided the former Hoffmaster Company with raw material resourcing, capital for expansion, and the resources necessary for new product development. Further growth occurred in late 1989 and early 1990 with a 103,000 square foot expansion to Hoffmaster, The Foodservice Business of Scott Paper Company. This expansion would accommodate assets from Scott Paper Company's Milwaukee, WI location called American Convenience Products (ACP) which was to be closed. The ACP location produced portion cups, fluted products, and doilies.
In March 1995, The Fonda Group, Inc. purchased the Foodservice Division of Scott. Astro-Valcour, Glens Falls, NY was acquired in April of 1997, expanding the Hoffmaster product line with polystyrene trayliners targeted at the transportation and lodging markets. Springprint, Augusta, GA, a division of Marcal was acquired in September 2000. This expanded Hoffmaster’s distribution area and manufacturing presence throughout the Southeast. Erving Paper Products, Inc., Green Bay, WI, was acquired in July 2004, which positively impacted service levels and product offerings to customers. In February 2004, Hoffmaster was acquired by Solo Cup Company, headquartered in Highland Park, IL. Solo is the nation’s largest manufacturer of single-use foodservice cups, bowls, plates, cutlery and related items made from plastic, foam and paper.
In September 2007, Solo Cup announced the sale of Hoffmaster to Kohlberg & Company, LLC, a leading U.S. private equity firm with offices in Mt. Kisco, New York and Palo Alto, California. The new parent company was named Hoffmaster Group, Inc., with the Foodservice and Consumer companies operating independently but sharing some common resources. The Foodservice segment operates under the Hoffmaster Foodservice Division name. The Foodservice division continues to be based in Oshkosh, WI. The Consumer segment operates under the Creative Converting Consumer Division name. The Consumer division continues to be managed from multiple locations: Clintonville and Indianapolis, IN.
In September 2008, Hoffmaster Group, Inc.® acquired Brooklace, Inc. and Smith-Lee Co., Inc., both privately held companies with common ownership. The Smith-Lee manufacturing operation was consolidated into the Oshkosh operations in early 2009 and the Brooklace operation was also consolidated into Oshkosh in early 2010.
In April 2011, Hoffmaster Group, Inc.® acquired InnoWare Paper Holding Company, Inc., and its wholly owned subsidiary, InnoWare Paper, Inc. InnoWare® is headquartered in Menomonee Falls, WI.
In December 2011, Kohlberg and Company, LLC reached an agreement to sell Hoffmaster Group, Inc.® to Metalmark Capital, a leading U.S. private equity firm specializing in all stages of development in middle market businesses. They are based in New York, NY.
In November 2016, Metalmark Capital reached an agreement to sell Hoffmaster Group, Inc.®, to Wellspring Capital Management a top performer in middle markets.
In April 2017, Hoffmaster Group Inc.® acquired Sumner Printing of Somersworth, NH and will begin operating Sumner as a Division of Hoffmaster.
In July 2018, Hoffmaster Group, Inc.®, announced the acquisition of Aardvark®, a US-based producer of paper straws in Fort Wayne, IN. Hoffmaster operates Aardvark® as part of its family of production facilities and owns the manufacturing assets of Aardvark® in their Fort Wayne plants that include their line of stock and customizable paper straw products. Aardvark® straws are 100% compostable and Made in the USA.