In 1985, Madeline and Mike Pate bought a tiny printing works situated in an old building at the top end of Cape Town. It had 2 machines – one of which, they later discovered, was used for parts to keep the other working. There were 1 and a half employees: Benny Marcus (who is still with Merrypak) and Thelma Willoughby, who had come back from retirement to help with print finishing and make tea.
Madeline’s daughter, Julie joined the little business the following year, to file and answer the phone. As the client base grew, they invested in machinery and staff. The writing was on the wall for small jobbing printers as quick-print shops were sprouting up and home PC’s would soon do away with the need for office stationery. They needed to explore new markets and eventually began manufacturing hand- folded carrier bags and boxes. Julie’s husband, Mervyn Tobiansky came on board to run the factory.
As the business had grown and more space was needed, they moved the factory to Ndabeni and in 1995, added a little factory shop to move their overruns and spoils. The rest as they say, is history – Merrypak has grown from a small print shop to a busy packaging factory which employs 160 staff. They occupy 2 buildings in Ndabeni – one houses the machine room, stores, art department and staff gym; the other houses their popular shop, coffee shop, dispatch, copy shop (which prints wedding invitations), stores and hand finishing.
The little factory shop with a few bags and boxes on trestle tables is now a bustling store with aisles of carrier bags, boxes, wrapping, stationery, toys, paper, art and craft supplies, party supplies and everything you could possibly need (or want) to create a “do-it-yourself” wedding or event. All their products can be shipped anywhere in Southern Africa.
Merrypak is a brand which people have come to trust. They pride themselves on producing a quality product and their friendly staff is part of the winning formula.
Enjoy your Merrypak shopping!