WILLOW TREE POULTRY FARM was founded by Chester Cekala in 1954. Today, the company is owned and run by the Cekala family.
Originally, all of the pie packaging was done by hand. As the WILLOW TREE 8 oz. chicken and turkey pies continued to increase in retail popularity, the company elected to use cartons for packaging these products. A carton gave them the “look” and the display capabilities that were needed to reflect the product quality and help increase consumer demand. “As demand grew, we needed a more efficient, reliable and cost effective way to increase our packaging capabilities,” stated Bob Arabian, WILLOW TREE Plant Manager. “We saw an ad for ECONOCORP in a trade publication. We decided to call them and look at what they had to offer. ECONOCORP offered equipment that was efficient, simple to operate, and was within budget.”
WILLOW TREE POULTRY FARMS purchased their fi rst ECONOSEAL SPARTAN from ECONOCORP in 1986 and ran it five days a week, 52 weeks per year, until December 2005. They package up to 22,500 cartons per 5 day week with the ECONOSEAL Spartan. Arabian noted, “We have a washdown model that is easy to clean and maintain to USDA standards. Preventative maintenance takes just minutes per week.” After running well over fourteen million packages, the original Spartan was still running daily when it was replaced with the newer generation model. WILLOW TREE still has this older SPARTAN and can put it back into service at any time, should the need arise. The newer generation machine purchased includes more current features such as PLC controls, non-contact switches, AC inverter drive for smooth indexing, and many ergonomically friendly features.
“The ECONOCORP sales staff, parts personnel, and repair technicians have always made themselves available to answer questions and/or help solve any problems whether over the phone or in person. ECONOCORP’s first machine proved to meet our needs and helped us grow the business. The ECONOSEAL Spartan provides a valuable solution that has made it more efficient to meet our specific company needs more effectively,” stated Arabian.