We have been your branding partner since 1906.

We have an illustrious history.

The San Diego Paper Box Company (SDPBC), a mainstay of San Diego County, traces a colorful historic timeline. The company currently manufactures folding paperboard boxes utilizing computerized graphics, modern multi-color lithographic equipment, and other advanced technologies. The beginning, however, was notably different.

The company originated over 110 years ago in Boston, Massachusetts, as the Magic Clasp Garter Company, a manufacturer of set-up boxes for garters. Seeking new opportunities in the ‘Wild West’, the founder, Mr. W. A. Stevens, expanded his successful garter factory in 1905 to a second location in San Diego, California.

His goal was to expand the market for his patented garter clasps, however, 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.

Art Chapman

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.

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.

After World War II the youngest Chapman brother, Ralph, came home a decorated hero from his service in Europe. He joined his brothers as part owner of the new company. Through the hard work and perseverance of the brothers, Chapman Brothers Paper Box Company thrived.

In the early 1950s Tommy Allen, who then owned San Diego Paper Box Company, recognized he now had a formidable competitor and decided that rather than compete, he would sell his company to the Chapman brothers. The brothers merged their business into San Diego Paper Box Company and the company has been in continuous operation under that name ever since.

1950s office

Throughout the decades 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.

The San Diego Paper Box Company today.

Today, the San Diego Paper Box Company is located in a 55,000 square foot facility at the site of the old La Mesa Airport in Spring Valley. Many decades of family ownership ended in 2018, when the Chapman family sold to new owners who have a strong commitment to growing the company and adhering to its tradition of an unwavering focus on service, quality and value.

With our unique and versatile manufacturing process, we are able to consistently produce high quality, cost effective packaging that meets our customers requirements. Using state of the art equipment, we design, print, die cut, fold, glue and deliver products on time at a competitive price. We pride ourselves for being responsive, innovative and building long term relationships with our valued customers.


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