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Market Forge Industries Inc., Everett, MA

Market Forge

THE HISTORY OF MARKET FORGE

Located in Everett, Massachusetts, we are a company dedicated to excellence and rich in tradition. This company is 100% equally owned by its employees. We are a company that takes pride in the products it manufactures.

Market Forge Industries is an industry leader in steam cooking equipment and technology now approaching 120 years in business. In 1896, Louis I. Beckwith founded the company, as an iron and metal workshop located in what is now known as the Quincy Market District of Boston. Beckwith came to Boston with only his knowledge of the ironwork and blacksmith trades. His shop quickly became recognized for excellence and highly skilled craftsmanship. Located next to a large meat packing plant, Beckwith was soon commissioned by the owner of that plant to manufacture galvanized racks, to eliminate the unsanitary practice of storing meat on wooden shelves. This event was the beginning of Market Forge as a supplier to the foodservice industry.

The 1920s saw the emergence of the Market Forge Company as a national entity, specializing in metal shelving for the meat, fur, and refrigeration industries, to name a few. In the late '20s, the company began using stainless steel, which resulted in the first modern steam cooker. Through the years, Market Forge has manufactured a wide range of consumer products, such as; luggage racks, ski racks, ski poles and bicycle carriers, as well as, one of the earliest infant car seats for automobiles. In the 1970s, Market Forge sold many of its divisions and focused on becoming the premier steam equipment manufacturer in the world. In this pursuit, we added many new products: steam jacketed kettles, convection ovens and tilting skillets, which essentially afforded us the ability to fill entire commercial kitchens with our equipment.

On November 1st, 1993, after a series of ownership changes, the employees of Market Forge purchased the company and created a 100 percent equally owned Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). The company reorganized and became Market Forge Industries, Inc. with each shop, office, and management employee owning an equal share of the company.

Cooperative structure

Originally founded as an iron and metal workshop in Boston, MA in 1896, in 1991, the company that owned it, Specialty Equipment, announced that it intended to close the plant and move the operations to Georgia. However, the workers, members of USW Local 2431, were able to convince Specialty Equipment to give them time to buy it and in 1993, after two and a half years of negotiations, bought 100% ownership of the Market Forge operation through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). Financed primarily through concessions by the workers and bank loans, the 130 workers at the time all owned an equal share of the company and restructured their business more along the lines of a cooperative model. Faced with the common challenges for employee buyouts of older facilities, older equipment, and limited access to capital and investment, Market Forge workers have persevered for almost 20 years and continue to make innovative, high quality products.

Most recently the R&D efforts have been focused on creating environmentally sustainable cooking equipment. These efforts have earned numerous awards such as; GFEN's Blue Flame Award in 2007, back to back Kitchen Innovation Awards in 2008 and 2009, presented at the NRA Show. These awards were for products they developed that not only reduce energy usage but also drastically reduce water consumption.

 

quadro nero Market Forge Inc.


This is a Worker-owned cooperative.
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