History of CalBox Group
History of CalBox Group
Our Promise to Our Customers:
We will constantly meet and exceed our customer's expectations with the products and services we provide.
1970 — John Widera began his career in the corrugated industry after working for such
companies as Fairbanks Morse, Beluit Wi., Caterpillar in Peoria IL and Belgium,
and Bemis Co., Sheboygan, WI.
His new employer was General Corrugated Machinery Co.,in New Jersey.
1976 — John and two partners started Action Box Co., in Houston, Texas.
1978 — He started a custom packaging company, Tucson Container (TCC) and
Kino Packaging, in an airplane hanger.
1983 — John resigned from General Corrugated Machine Co. as western regional manager,
covering 8 states, western Canada and Mexico.
1984 — California Box Co. was created in April 1984, by Ed St. Hilaire and John Widera.
The sheet plant operated out of a 60,000 sq. ft. facility in Pico Rivera CA, sellingI primarily to brokers and distributors.
1986 — Took legal action against INS immigration agents and won.
1990 — Cal Box II was started in Rancho Cucamonga (located near Ontario International Airport).
1993 — After buying out his partner, John relocated Cal Box to its present 180,000 sq. ft. facility in Santa Fe Springs CA.
1995 — CalBox Group designed, built, and moved into an 110,000 sq. ft. facility on 7 acres next to a Rancho Cucamonga golf course.
It is one of the finest automated sheet plants in California.
1997 — West Texas Container (WTC) started operating in a 35,000 sq. ft. building leased near Mexico's border in El Paso, Texas. Why?
There was a need for quality printing and J.I.T. (Just In Time).
1999— John Widera was chosen by Boxboard Containers-International, as one of fifty 20th century leaders in the box industry.
2000 — Tucson Container moved into its new modern 150,000 sq. ft. building on 18 acres, near the Tucson airport. It manufactures
corrugated boxes & displays, foam, and wood crating and is also a distributor for packaging supplies.
2001 — Our sheet feeder, CB Sheets, opened operations with the purchase of a new 98” computerized fast setup corrugator.
A 25,000 sq. ft. addition was built for conveyors moving sheets from the corrugator to converting machinery and shipping.
2003 — West Texas Container moved into its own 85,000 sq. ft. facility, located on 8 acres. It is about 5 minutes from the border crossing
from El Paso to Juarez, Mexico.
2003 — 2007 Replaced old machinery at all four plants with state-of-the-art converting machinery. Financing came from CalBox Group.
Result: quality products, with minimal debt.
2006— Action Box, Houston TX, built a new building and installed a corrugator. Sales are $40 million annually.
2011 — CalBox Group purchased a 150,000 sq. ft. industial building on 8 acres in Mesa (Phoenix) AZ, and installed
a new $9,000,000 corrugator, plus $4,000,000 in anciliary equipment.
2012 — John resigned as president, but remaines as Chairman of the Board.
His son, Chris Widera, is named CEO of Cal Box Co. and Cal Box II.
2015 — Chris Widera became CEO of all five corrugated facilities of the CalBox Group.
2016 — John Widera sold hisstock in Action Box, Houston TX, to Hood, a paper mill, for $15 million (before taxes).
2017 — Purchased $4 million in upgrade machinery. Purchased 16,000 sq.ft. building in Mesa AZ., as usual, with cash.
We now have close to 400 employees, and 700,000 sq. ft. under roof, with combined sales close to $100 million.