Making It: Boxes Open Path to Success at Tap in Cleveland

Making It

Makers:  David Chilcote, third-generation owner, and the 120 employees

Business: Tap Packaging Solutions

From Photos to Packages:  August Chilcote, David Chilcote’s grandfather, opened the Chilcote Company in 1906 to manufacture and sell paperboard packaging used to display photographs.  After the Great Depression hit, the company made jigsaw puzzles to stay in business. During World War II, military members wanted a keepsake picture of their loved ones as they headed off to battle, which caused a boom in business. David Chilcote joined the company in 1984.  Through the decades, the company grew as it acquired more businesses. When the digital age hit and sales of paperboard frames declined, David decided to reinvent the company to stay open.  In 2010, the Chilcote Company became Tap Packaging Solutions. The next year, Tap got into the candy business when it launched its confection collection. Today Tap has several contracts with national and local companies to handle the packaging of their consumer goods. Their clients include Procter and Gamble, General Mills, Malley’s Chocolates and Mitchell’s Fine Chocolates. 

Employee Owned Company: In 1984, the company established an employee stock ownership plan, which means all of the employees get a share of the profits. David says his father started the program and taught him to share the wealth. “My Philosophy is we need to treat everybody fairly,” said David Chilcote. He adds, he is the last to get paid. 

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