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Since 1906…

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We design and manufacture quality paperboard folding cartons. The San Diego Paper Box Company began as a manufacturer of set-up boxes for garters in 1906. For many years, the Company was the only manufacturer of chipboard boxes in the San Diego area. Our company flourished and grew with the City of San Diego.

The History of San Diego Paper Box Company

The San Diego Paper Box Company began as a manufacturer of set-up boxes for garters in 1906. For many years, the Company was the only manufacturer of chipboard boxes in the San Diego area. Our company flourished and grew with the City of San Diego

Shortly after World War II, Chapman Brothers Enterprises, a family company owned by Sidney Chapman, purchased San Diego Paper Box. He built a successful business making folding cartons and die-cutting gaskets for the aircraft industry. With Chapman Brothers’ expertise, San Diego Paper Box became very versatile, offering a wide variety of chipboard products to manufacturers and retailers.

The San Diego Paper Box Company is a mainstay of San Diego County with a colorful history. The company currently manufactures folding paperboard boxes utilizing computerized graphics, modern multi-color lithographic equipment, and other advanced technologies. However, it did not begin like this. The company began over 108 years ago in Boston, Massachusetts as the Magic Clasp Garter Company. Seeking new opportunities in the Wild West, Mr. W. A. Stevens moved his successful garter factory to San Diego in 1905.

His goal was to expand the market for his patented garter clasps. Since San Diego did not have a box company, he purchased box making equipment to make the boxes for his garters. In doing so, he discovered a new market for paper boxes that were needed by other San Diego businesses. As time moved on, the garter business diminished, but the box business flourished. Eventually the Magic Clasp Garter Company became the San Diego Paper Box Company.

During the 1930’s, a young Sidney Chapman worked for the Buell Town Company which was located at the current site of the Old Spaghetti Factory on Fifth Avenue. He sold paper products to restaurants, grocery stores, laundries, and other local businesses. While servicing his customers, Sid realized that there was a potential for a profitable future in the paper box business. His customers needed paper boxes, but his attempts to purchase them for the Buell Town Company from its Los Angeles box suppliers were met with high prices and poor service.

Sid saw the failings of the Los Angeles paper box companies as a good opportunity and decided to start making boxes for his customers. He continued his day job at Buell Town Company, but after work he and his wife, Eleanore, made boxes in their garage in Valencia Park.

During this time Sid’s oldest brother, Art, was stationed at Campo as a member of the U.S. Calvary. In 1939 Art left the Calvary and joined Sid and Eleanore in making paper boxes. It wasn’t long before they outgrew the garage; so Sid worked out a deal with Service Printers located on Logan Avenue. The company owned three large printing presses. Service Printers and Sid entered into an agreement stating that the Chapmans would use the presses at nighttime, and then clean them in the morning so that the presses were ready for the Service Printers’ daily work. With unwavering focus, trust in the family spirit, hard work, and a dream, Chapman Brothers Paper Box Company was established.

After World War II, Sid’s and Art’s younger brother, Ralph, came home a decorated hero from his service in Europe. He joined his brothers as a part owner of the new company. Through the hard work and perseverance of the brothers, Chapman Brothers Paper Box Company thrived. In the early 1950’s Tommy Allen who owned the San Diego Paper Box Company recognized that his company now had a formidable competitor. He decided rather than compete he would sell his company to the Chapman brothers; so the Chapman Brothers Paper Box Company became the San Diego Paper Box Company.

Through the years the San Diego Paper Box Company has served many local companies that are prominent in San Diego’s history. Some of these companies include Marston’s Department Store, Walker Scott Department Store, Lions Clothing Store, Jessop’s Jewelers, Pernicano’s Restaurants, Rohr Aircraft, Solar Aircraft, Ryan Aeronautical, and Convair. It has also served many well-known national companies, such as the Broadway Stores, May Company, Robinsons Department Stores, Saks 5th Avenue, Schlage Lock, Maxell, Buck Knives, Lionel Train, Mattel, Fisher Price, Kenner Toys, Gen-Probe, Nellcor Tyco Healthcare, Motorola, 3M, Carl Zeiss Vision, Diatek, Ivac, Jack in The Box and Kendall Pharmaceuticals.

Today, San Diego Paper Box Company is located in a 110,000 square foot facility at the site of the old La Mesa Airport in Spring Valley. In keeping with their unwavering focus of good service with great value, trust in the family spirit, hard work, and their dream, this company employs loyal, long-term men and women. Twenty, thirty and forty year employees are common at San Diego Paper Box Company. The current owner, Rick Chapman, Sid’s son, has a favorite saying, “We don’t hire people, we adopt them.” In the last 108 years many employees have been an important part of our family. This family spirit will keep growing in our next 108 years.