The Colbert Story

The Colbert Story

Colbert Packaging was founded in 1959 when the late Charles Colbert purchased the property and assets of Kroeck Paper Box, which was founded in 1892.

Custom rigid setup boxes and folding cartons were manufactured at the company’s original location, 1701 W. Superior Street in Chicago, until Colbert Packaging's acquisition of Franklin Folding Box in 1969. At that time, folding carton operations were moved to the acquired location in Melrose Park, Illinois.

In 1986, corporate headquarters and folding carton operations were moved into a custom-designed 96,000 square foot building in Lake Forest, Illinois, about 30 miles north of Chicago. In 1998, a separate flexographic facility was established, and the company began producing flexo-printed cartons, pressure-sensitive roll labels and paperboard specialty products. In 2000, an 89,000 square foot warehouse was added in South Bend, Indiana.

Colbert Packaging made its next acquisition in 2004, purchasing the property and assets of Barger Packaging. Founded in 1887 by J.H. Barger, Barger Packaging staked its claim as the oldest manufacturer in Elkhart, Indiana. Barger was rebranded as Colbert upon acquisition, and the 109,000 square foot facility in Elkhart and the employees who work in Elkhart remain a vital part of Colbert’s operations.

Coincidentally, the city of Elkhart was once home to Colbert patriarch, Charles Colbert, and it was also in Elkhart where, in 1921, Colbert’s father founded American Coating Mills, which became one of the country’s largest producers of folding cartons and carton board before being acquired in 1947.

In 2009, Colbert Packaging acquired Crown Paper Box in Indianapolis, Indiana, and Dayton Carton in Louisville, Kentucky, the latter of which enabled Colbert to expand its portfolio to include a successful stock box program. Today, stock box customers choose from nearly 150 different sizes and styles of ready-to-ship reverse tuck end cartons, business card and letterhead boxes, and corrugated mailers.

Colbert’s customer roster includes some of the biggest names in the pharmaceutical, healthcare and consumer goods markets. Its award-winning BlisterGuard and EnviroGuard solutions for pilfer-resistance and recyclability are a long-standing favorite among leading brands. Colbert Packaging is also a pioneer in the development of packaging solutions designed to improve patient adherence with drug treatment regimens. All of Colbert’s unit dose packages can be fully branded, customized with a variety of blister cavities, and manufactured using secure and sustainable materials.

Today, Colbert Packaging services customers in the Midwest, from coast to coast and around the world through its three manufacturing plants – in Lake Forest, Illinois, Elkhart, Indiana, and Kenosha, Wisconsin. It remains a family-owned business with roughly 350 employees, extensive research and development capabilities, quality products and services, and a reputation for excellence nearly six decades strong.





Flexo Operations Moved to New Kenosha, Wis., Facility

Idealliance awards Colbert G7 Master Qualification

EnviroGuard makes its U.S. commercial debut

Colbert receives chain of custody certifications

Colbert acquires Dayton Carton, Crown Paper Box

Colbert awarded first U.S. patent for BlisterGuard

Colbert acquires Barger Packaging, Elkhart, Ind.

Colbert begins production of flexographic packaging

Colbert purchases William Brothers Paper Box

Colbert moves into Lake Forest, Ill. headquarters

Colbert acquires Franklin Folding Box Company

Charles Colbert purchases Kroeck Paper Box Company