What Makes Dixie Canner Co. Stand Out
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About Dixie Canner Co.
In 1895, George Raney had a vision. Preserving foods, just like on farms and in home kitchens, but on a larger scale. And instead of airtight jars, the food would be stored in tin cans. The business started in Chapel Hill, N.C., soon opening facilities in Chattanooga, TN and the Little Rock, AR by 1914.
The company changed its name to Dixie Canner Company to signify its ability to “Cover Dixie” (Southern USA) with can seamers, pressure cookers, and tin cans. The company was purchased by Continental Can Co in 1923. By 1936, Dixie Canner moved to Athens, GA, where the University of Georgia’s Agriculture Extension Service was developing a Community Canning Program to preserve surplus vegetables, fruits, and meats. The process would bring a wider variety of foods to people across the Southern US. Dixie Canner provided the equipment used in this groundbreaking program, which revolutionized food storage.
The community cannery concept continued to grow, and with the introduction of Victory Gardens during World War II, Dixie Canner thrived. The local management of Dixie Canner purchased the company from Continental Can in 1946 and formed a separate Georgia Corporation.
W.T. Stapleton Sr. went to work at Dixie Canner after graduating from the University of GA in 1948. By 1961, he had purchased Dixie from the previous owners. He was instrumental in realizing the need for low-volume packaging and processing machinery for the can industry and focused on developing adjustable and durable low volume can seamers, laboratory/specialty retorts and low-volume processing machinery.
In 2013, Mr. Stapleton Sr.’s three grandsons, Chris, Ty and Parrish Stapleton bought out the remaining stockholders. Since then, they have focused on producing the highest quality stainless steel machinery by improving manufacturing capabilities and making improvements and modifications to suit the needs of food, beverage, pharmaceutical and industrial based businesses around the world.
Other companies have emerged as the years have passed that were bigger, faster and hyper-productive. However, the market for low-volume canning and packaging equipment for companies with smaller production volumes thrives.
Today, Dixie Canner provides equipment for R&D, educational projects, specialty canning and packaging operations, all over the world. We can customize for any need you may have. We have grown tremendously over the past few years due to a variety of factors. We invested in marketing and sales efforts such as a new website, newsletters, new trade shows and advertising. We invested in a new manufacturing facility with new CNC equipment, improved our products, and developed a new Automated Retort that has been tremendously successful.
We began to distribute 32 oz. Crowler™ cans and targeted the Craft Beer Industry with an innovative table-top can seamer capable of closing 12oz, 16oz and 32oz cans with minimal time and expense to change over from can size to can size. Although our manufacturing facility is in Athens, GA, we distribute the 32oz Crowler™ cans from facilities located in Atlanta, GA and Los Angeles, CA.
The Dixie Canner Co. Difference
Our hundred and twenty-three years of experience and reputation for quality is what sets us apart from all of our competitors, along with our pricing, which is pretty impressive too.
We are a relatively inexpensive packaging alternative that is extremely flexible and customizable to so many different types of products and can types. However, what makes us stand out is our longevity, our worldwide brand recognition and the lasting quality of our machinery.
We are a member of IFT (International Food Technology), PMMI (Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute) and the Craft Brewers Association.
Our customers range from huge multinational conglomerates such as Coca-Cola, Kraft Foods, Johnson and Johnson, to educational sectors that include high school vocational canneries, colleges and universities worldwide (UGA, Clemson, McGill and Guelph), governmental research and development (FDA), industrial products companies as well as mom and pop companies that specialize in unique products and services.
2017 was our most successful year of sales in the company. We developed and installed two RDSW-3 Retort and Automatic Control System Package 5 this year. We are the oldest operating company in Athens, GA, and want to continue to grow our existing business while using our worldwide brand recognition to launch new machinery that fits within our current portfolio.
We’re also extremely conscious of our responsibility to society. For all that we’ve received, we have donated machinery and funds to the UGA food Science Department (about $100K last year) as well as other colleges and universities. We sponsor our local high school athletic programs (Clarke Central High School) as well as other charitable contributions to many other organizations.