On the last Saturday of March, family, friends, and current and past employees of Ontario-based plastics manufacturer Ray Products gathered at a microbrewery in Upland to celebrate the last 70 years.
Brian Ray, current company President and grandson of the company’s founder, was in attendance with his family, trading memories and jokes with employees and friends at the celebration.
“The average life span of a company is about 15 years,” said Ray. “So I think our 70th anniversary is definitely worth celebrating.”
The company was founded by Allen Ray on April 1, 1949, in a 1,000 sq. ft. shop. Today, Ray Products operates a 48,000 sq. ft. facility in Ontario, CA, equipped with the best available thermoforming technology. The high-quality customized plastic parts that Ray Products produces are used in a wide range of industries, including medical equipment, transportation, green energy, automotive, building and construction, and recreational equipment.
In honor of its 70th, the company commissioned a special bottling named “Loyalty Lager” from Upland microbrewery Last Name Brewing. It was a natural fit, then, to host the anniversary party at the brewery.
On Saturday, some guests swapped stories while enjoying signature sandwiches and burgers from the Big Easy Sandwich food truck. Others enjoyed funny-money gambling tables or took tours of the brewery, while the younger set quite literally bounced off the walls of a bouncy castle.
In between bites, Ray offered his theories on the family-owned manufacturer’s longevity.
“It’s a balance of two things,” said Ray. “On the one hand, we regularly invest millions in the latest advanced thermoforming technology so that we can offer our customers the absolute latest and best. On the other hand, we really value the traditional ways of doing business.”
“We want to do business ‘the right way.’ We respect our customers and partners and the skills of our employees. It’s why our employees stay with us for 10, 20, and sometimes even 50 years.”
In an op-ed he penned last summer, Ray defined three key points of doing business the right way: delivering a quality product, operating as a fair employer and being a reliable partner.
At Saturday’s celebration, the results of that philosophy were clearly visible: hundreds of guests with smiles on their faces, celebrating a company with a 70-year history and no signs of slowing down.
About Ray Products
Ray Products has been manufacturing high-quality 3D thermoformed plastic parts since 1949. Located in Ontario, California, Ray Products uses the most advanced machinery and materials in the business to create custom plastic pieces used in medical equipment, transportation, green energy, automotive, building and construction, recreational equipment, and more.