Competition, service fuel Nazareth Pallet

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Northampton Mayor
Thomas Reenok
honors the Frack
family – owner of
Nazareth Pallet
Co. – on May 30
at the company's
30th anniversary
celebration at its
Northampton facility.
Reenok declared
May 30, 2014, as
Nazareth Pallet Day.
Pictured from left are
Brian Frack, Jason
Frack, Doris Frack,
George Frack Sr.,
Reenok and George
Frack Jr.
Northampton Mayor Thomas Reenok honors the Frack family – owner of Nazareth Pallet Co. – on May 30 at the company's 30th anniversary celebration at its Northampton facility. Reenok declared May 30, 2014, as Nazareth Pallet Day. Pictured from left are Brian Frack, Jason Frack, Doris Frack, George Frack Sr., Reenok and George Frack Jr.

Nazareth Pallet Co.'s clients were invited to attend when the company held its 30th anniversary celebration late last month at its home on Held Drive in Northampton.

And that's appropriate, because the company is all about customer service.

Company principals George Frack Jr. and his brothers Jason and Brian run the family's pallet recycling and processing plant on property that once was part of the former Atlas Cement Plant in Northampton. It is a business started by their father, George Frack Sr., and two other partners.

When the elder Frack retired several years ago, he and his wife, Doris, were the only two business owners. By then, their sons had been running the company since the late 1990s.

“My brothers and I have a passion for always doing something new, evolving and accomplishing more than the year before,” Frack Jr. said. “We are constantly looking to beat what we did in the past.”

He said it is the trio of brothers' competitive nature that is at the heart of the pallet company's success. They have made customer service one of the company's highest priorities, seeing that someone is available to service clients throughout the weekend and beyond hours of operation.

“That kind of service is not predominant in this industry, but that is the level that we take it to,” Frack Jr. said of the company, which grosses $15 million annually and has 135 employees.

Hilary Clemons is maintenance operations supervisor at Behr Process Corp. in Allentown. She said her company has been a customer of Nazareth Pallet for 15 years, and the Northampton company has helped Behr cut its costs by 50 percent just by taking Behr's used pallets and recycling them.

“It's good for the environment, and we get a check from them periodically for using our pallets,” Clemons said. “I cannot say anything bad about the company. They are there when we need a fast delivery and they have great customer service.”

Frack Sr. and his business partners established the company in May 1984 at a smaller location in Nazareth that within five years didn't cut it. The company outgrew that facility and moved to Northampton, building a plant on 18 acres, allowing ample warehouse space and storage for pallets.

Under the direction of Frack Sr.'s sons, Nazareth Pallet became automated in 2000 and incorporated a service to customize pallets as a way to gain the interest of other markets. All wooden pallets get recycled and repaired before they are sent back to the customer.

More than 60,000 pallets are recycled a week at the facility, and whatever pallets cannot be repaired are disassembled and used to make custom-sized pallets, or the wood is ground up to make mulch. The mulch is either used for decorative landscaping or the mulch fiber is used as a fuel source to produce electricity.

Frack Jr. said the company began making mulch in the late '90s, and one of its biggest customers for mulch is Dorney Park in South Whitehall Township, which displays the Nazareth Pallet product throughout the amusement park.

In addition, Nazareth Pallet has donated its mulch (in trade) for the Lehigh Valley's Annual Musikfest event and made a recent contribution of mulch to the Lehigh County community gardens at Jordan Creek.

The mulch service is seasonal for the company, and most popular in spring and early summer.

“In the last five years, our focus has really been on our custom-pallet operation. We have a wood restoration room to reuse the old wood,” Frack Jr. said.

He said a large part of his business has been in creating and delivering wood pallets to retail stores, where they are wrapped in corrugate and put on display.

“Most of our customers are big box chains and warehouses. We are a seller and supplier. We supply the distribution points that package the product,” he said. “Our target market is large distribution centers, and our pallets are delivered within a 50-mile radius of the factory.”

Former business owner Doris Frack said she gives her sons credit for growing the business to its present status.

“When they took over, it really grew in leaps and bounds. They have great business sense and they work hard,” she said. “My husband and I never thought it would get to where it is today.”

As Nazareth Pallet enters its 30th year, the Frack brothers expect to expand sales and add several new trucks and trailers, according to Frack Jr.

“We will probably hire six to eight new positions in the next 12 months,” he said. “Our growth in the Lehigh Valley has been strong and steady, and we intend to stay here.”

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