In October of 2006, Michael Gagné created Gagné Foods, Inc., a family-owned company now located in coastal Bath, Maine. The company offers the Robinhood Free Meetinghouse 72 Layer Cream Cheese Biscuits and Cinnamon Rolls. Products from Gagné Foods are now being offered by over 500 major markets and specialty food stores from coast to coast, as well as by a growing list of national gourmet catalogues. Today, production of Chef Gagné’s award-winning biscuits and rolls have expanded from the back kitchen of his popular Georgetown Meetinghouse restaurant to a state-of-the-art, family-run facility in nearby Bath, Maine.
At first, the products were packaged in plastic clam shells. These plastic shells were then inserted into printed sleeves and shrink wrapped. The packages were not only expensive, but they were also very labor intensive and not easy to automate. As volume of these delicious products grew, reducing the cost of the packaging material and labor became a priority. The old package cost Gagné Foods 52 cents. The decision was made to go to an attractively printed paperboard carton. The cartons cost only one fifth of the cost of the old package… a mere 11cents each.
The next step in improving the production process was to find an automation solution. A company called Wrabacon suggested Econocorp to them. Gagné checked Econocorp’s website and it became obvious that the company has been around awhile and builds a quality machine. The decision was made to purchase an ECONOSEAL Spartan cartoner in order to achieve the required production speeds of up to twenty five finished cartons per minute.
The ECONOSEAL Spartan cartoner method of operation is simple. Operators simply load the products into the conveyor buckets and the rest of the operation is automatic. The products arrive at the load station and are inserted into cartons via the tamp style product loader. The loaded cartons are then date coded and sealed using hot melt adhesive.
Michael Gagné points out, “With the old packaging, we needed 16 people packaging to keep up with the production line. With the Econocorp Spartan cartoner, we use only 4 people. The Spartan cartoner purchase allowed us to reduce our material cost by almost 80% with a labor reduction of 75%.” Gagné adds, “The Spartan is always here and ready to go every Monday morning. That’s simple math!!!”
The ECONOCORP sales and support staff are both patient and knowledgeable. They also let us borrow a semi-automatic Twinseal carton sealer while our automatic Spartan was being built. ECONOCORP worked with Gagné Foods and were very understanding of the company’s tight cash position and lead time requirements. The machine is rugged and very well built. It is very easy to maintain.