Our History - How We Became TOP
T.O. Plastics, Inc. (TOP) has been in business since 1948. Our “T.O.” name is derived from the first letter of each founder’s first names, Ted Ingersol and Oren Beech. TOP made their first parts in Oren’s home in southwest Minneapolis, Minnesota. Eventually TOP moved to Bloomington, Minnesota, where they established offices in an old schoolhouse and an attached onion shed that was used for the production area. After a fire destroyed the operation, a metal office building and Quonset structure were erected so that business could continue. In the early 1960’s a modern plant was built on the Bloomington site, which was located near the current Mall of America and Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
TOP began producing plastic refrigerator components for a large multinational appliance company in Saint Cloud, Minnesota. Due to these parts being bulky and difficult to ship, the Clearwater, Minnesota facility was opened to be closer to the customer. Located fifteen-minutes southeast of Saint Cloud, this location now serves as TOP’s administrative headquarters. TOP expanded its product offerings and customer base, quickly earning a solid reputation in the marketplace for having outstanding product quality and customer service.
- In the 1960’s, TOP began manufacturing plastic containers used for growing plants. Through product innovation and a continued commitment to product quality and outstanding customer service, the TOP name became highly regarded amongst horticulture growers across North America. Fast forward to today, our Clearwater based proprietary horticulture container products business has grown to become the largest segment of TOP.
- In the late 1960’s TOP went public to raise capital. Later in the 1980’s, both Ted and Oren retired and sold their ownership shares to another family member, who took TOP private once again.
- In 1993, TOP was purchased by two new private investors and continued to grow. During this period the facility in Clearwater underwent several expansions.
- In 2001, TOP was acquired by Otter Tail Corporation, a publicly traded company (NASDAQ: OTTR) with headquarters in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. Since that acquisition, TOP has continued to expand and is now positioned to support customers accelerated strategic growth requirements while still providing outstanding customer service.
- In 2009, due to continued growing customer demand, TOP opened a second manufacturing facility in Otsego, Minnesota, a northwest suburb of the Twin Cities. This facility now houses our clean room forming operations targeting life science and custom markets. The Otsego facility is home to our Class 8 cleanrooms and is certified to ISO 13485:2016 and ISO 9001:2015.
TOP is well positioned to continue growing under the ownership and financial stability of Otter Tail Corporation. The company supports the strategic growth plans of customers with the continued re-investments into the business. TOP employs several hundred people and is ranked among the top one hundred thermoformers in North America.