Tulsa firm is in the business of ' bagging' customers

Tuesday, December 7th 2004, 10:25 am

By: News On 6

Malls, stores, and restaurants are crowded with holiday shoppers. All of them loaded with gifts for family and friends.

News on 6 reporter Rick Wells says many of those shoppers will carry their holiday finds home in paper handle bags made in Tulsa.

Tulsack makes paper handle sacks for businesses and restaurants all over the country. In fact, a truck loaded with sacks destined for Cracker Barrel restaurants and gift shops nationwide left Tuesday morning from their business at 5400 South Garnett.

Tulsack president Dennis Gaffke: "We sell the bags to our customers particularly the retail customers as a walking billboard." That logo is always on there. One machine is making 250,000 bags for American Airlines.

The warehouse holds hundreds of rolls of paper in different widths for the different bag sizes. All those bags started out as a big roll of paper. The customer’s logo is printed on first. A different part of the machine assembles the twisted paper handles. The bag is cut and folded and more glue is applied and the bottom is formed somewhere along the line. Eight machines make bags 2 or three shifts a day, five days a week.

Paper handle sacks weren't always as common as they are today. He used to have to convince folks the handles were strong enough. He used his daughter as a demonstrator. Gaffke: "She was probably 8 or 9 at the time weighed maybe 60 or 70 pounds, she wasn't very big. I'd stand her in the bag and pick her up." The handles held and he had bagged another customer, so to speak.

One of the more interesting revelations, the handle's put on before there's even a bag. I thought it would have been the last thing, didn't you?

Tulsack produces 128-million paper handle sacks every year. Petty's, Braum's, Sonic, and Rib Crib are some of Tulsack's long-time local customers.

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