Southern Champion Tray buys West Coast packaging firm

Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / An employee works on loading unfolded boxes into a machine at Southern Champion Tray on Thursday, May 9, 2019 in Chattanooga, Tenn. These boxes are not Guarantab clamshells.

In its second purchase of another packaging company in as many years, Southern Champion Tray (SCT) is buying substantially all the assets of Evergreen Packaging in La Mirada, California.

The Chattanooga-based Southern Champion, the 95-year-old manufacturer of paperboard items for the bakery and food service industry, announced Monday that it has purchased Evergreen, which was founded in 2001 and operates predominantly in California as a packaging provider for bakeries, delis and foo0d service companies.

The acquisition comes two year after Southern Champion Tray bought Honeymoon Paper Products, Inc. in Fairfield Ohio in another territorial expansion for the business. In 2005, Southern Champion Tray also bought Glenmark Industries in Indiana.

Brian Hunt, who was elevated to president of Southern Champion Tray in July, said the latest acquisition "makes a lot of sense for SCT and Evergreen customers.

"With SCT's expanded product offerings, broader array of packaging options and a business model that focuses on great packaging and distinctive customer service, we are confident that the transaction will be positive for our customer partners," Hunt said in an announcement Monday. "Similarly, the SCT team sees this as another opportunity to demonstrate that serving is a privilege."

SCT continues to build its position as a leading manufacturer of paperboard packaging. SCT has grown to 888 employees and is planning to hire even more workers to staff the new 320,000-square-foot manufacturing facility being built at the Centre South Riverport in Chattanooga. The $60 million project is the biggest expansion in SCT's history.

"This new site will be highly automated and employ an additional 156 new SCT team members for which we are actively recruiting," Hunt said.

Since 1927, Southern Champion Tray has made and distributed bakery, food service, and catering paperboard and corrugated packaging.

  photo  Staff Photo by Matt Hamilton / Chief operations officer Brian Hunt speaks at the new facility location at Centre South Riverport on Wednesday. Southern Champion Tray held a groundbreaking event on Wednesday, October 13, 2021.