“When I walk through our factory, I can’t believe that we started with just one staff member and one machine.”
“Nothing makes me happier than finding the right packaging to match your brand.”
“Business is about the people behind the brand. We are proud of our inclusive workspace.”
Our Managers From left to right Julie, Joan, Denver, Feroza, Michael, Carol, Mervyn, Cedric (retired), Cheslin, Madeline, Garreth, Carmen, Nick and Denver.
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, we later discovered, was used for parts to keep the other working! There were 1 and a half employees: Benny Marcus 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, we invested in machinery and staff. The writing was on the wall for small jobbing printers as quick-print shops were springing up and home PC’s would soon do away with the need for office stationery. It was clear, we needed to explore new markets and eventually we 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, we moved the factory to Ndabeni and in 1995, added a little factory shop to move our 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 170 staff. We occupy 2 buildings in Ndabeni – one houses the machine room, stores, art and handwork departments, goods receiving and dispatch and the other houses our retail shop, our coffee shop (the Good Food Cafe), Merrypak Print & Copy (where we prints stickers, invitations and business cards) and stores.
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, ribbon, stationery, toys, pet supplies, paper, bottles and jars, plasticware, catering supplies, art and craft supplies, party supplies and everything you could possibly need (or want) to create a “do-it-yourself” wedding or event. You can even have balloons filled with helium at our balloon bar. Most of our products can be shipped anywhere in Southern Africa.
For the past ten years we have been employing staff with varying degrees of disability. We have a vision of an inclusive workplace where those with intellectual and physical disability can fulfil their potential and their input can be valued. We all benefit from sharing our space with people different from ourselves. We try to provide opportunities for people who wouldn’t usually have easy access to the job market. We appeal to other businesses to embrace inclusion.
Merrypak has become a trusted brand. We pride ourselves on producing a quality product and our friendly staff is part of the winning formula.
Enjoy your Merrypak shopping!
Julie & Mervyn Tobiansky