While some processors buy off-the-shelf machinery and design their business model to suit the equipment, George Braddon, an inventor and entrepreneur, decided that his chosen business model needed different machinery.
When he founded Commodore Plastics in 1980, he took $30,000 of his savings to acquire used equipment, according to his son, Brad Braddon, now the company’s president. George had spent the first part of his career working for Mobil Chemical and they had big machines, that was all he’d ever experienced, so he didn’t know the advantages of smaller machines such as greater flexibility and serving niche markets with custom products.
“We were making expanded polystyrene foam (EPS) meat trays, foam trays for deli and produce,” says the younger Braddon. George had started out selling only the company’s four highest-volume items. But customers were telling him that what they needed wasn’t what he was selling. Being an innovator, George saw that if the company was going to grow its product lines, he would need to do things differently.