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GSC Packaging named Atlanta's fastest-growing company

Food co-packer earns top spot in the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2013 Pacesetter Awards.
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Atlanta-based GSC Packaging, a nationwide provider of turnkey contract packaging solutions, earned the top spot in the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2013 Pacesetter Awards, which recognize Atlanta’s 100 fastest-growing private companies. GSC Packaging is a leading U.S. contract packager of powdered foods, drink mixes, supplements and diet products, and specializes in multiple forms of food contract packaging and secondary packaging solutions, including stick packs, pouches, large format pouches, vertical form fill seal pouches, and horizontal form fill seal pouches.

Revenues are undisclosed, but grew organically with new business as the employee base has grown from 30 to 300 between 2010 and 2012. In addition to offering customers production capacity without investing in capital assets, the co-packer has helped them achieve "decreased lead-time to market and built-in expertise in packaging design, quality procedures, and food safety,” says GSC's CEO Bob Shapiro. 

The company recently renovated and moved to a 100,000-square-foot facility in Atlanta. The new facility hosts 15 production lines including seven horizontal form/fill/seal lines, three six-lane stick pack packaging lines and various semi-automatic, large format automatic, and secondary packaging and kitting lines. The new packaging facility also features a state-of-the-art layout and design, the latest air-handling technology, lot code tracking, real-time computerized inventory control, dust control and air-conditioned storage. The facility layout was custom designed to isolate products into separate suites that package only one specific product at a time to prevent cross-contamination--with cameras in each individual production suite for added security. Packaged products travel through small openings in the walls to separate secondary packaging areas, which further protects exposed products. In addition, the Atlanta location provides clients with strategic national distribution capabilities.
Criteria for the Pacesetter Awards included the requirement that companies are privately owned, based in the 20-county metro Atlanta area, and aren't a subsidiary of another company; and that companies have to be established before the first quarter of 2010, have a two-year growth in sales of more than 50 percent, and have between $1 million and $300 million in revenue in 2012. 


For more insight about GSC's growth and capabilities, see article, "Quality is top priority in contract packaging growth strategy," published in the March/April 2013 edition of Contract Packaging magazine.




GSC- World Class Packaging Solutions...or not? Georgia Spice Company has it s roots in Georgia Spice Blending across the street from their old facility on Atlanta Industrial Hwy. After almost filing bankruptcy and borrowing money to keep their doors open, Robert Shapiro landed a contract that opened up new possibilities. GSC Packaging hired several hundred employees to boost production and make their numbers look good for new clients. New managers were hired without a food background, and the company started to suffer. One such incident was the Quality Assurance manager demanding that an expiration date be placed on alcohol spray bottles, but the OSHA guidelines were overlooked, and a salmonella finding was hidden from the state, which is illegal and unethical. Another shining point in the GSC history was a carbon monoxide poisoning that sent several employees to the hospital and was a determining cause for one employee to have a minor heart attack. Instead of fixing the problem, several days passed and more employees were exposed to high levels of poisonous gas. Vehicles out in the parking lot were also broken into on several occasions. One incident included a firearm being stolen out of an employees vehicle, but the upper management wouldn t do anything to prevent this from happening in the future, and the weapon was never recovered. GSC did nothing to protect it s employees or the employee s property, but continued to force employees to park where nobody could see if the vehicles were safe. Working conditions at GSC include a hot working environment where lab coats are mandatory. Hard concrete flooring throughout the facility without the availability of mats to relieve pain. If you come in as a temp, your chances of being replaced within one to two weeks are high, so the stress level isn t for most people. To add to the stress, people are fired or suspended regularly for making honest mistakes that could be prevented, but upper management will not take the appropriate measures to prevent these mistakes. One employee related to the director of operations however was able to punch a hole through a wall with his fist out of anger and was only given two days suspension. A temp that same day was fired for chewing gum on the property nowhere near any food production. Management at this company has been completely changed out. Even on their site, they list that pharmaceutical standards are being used, but the food service has a completely different set of standards which shows the lack of knowledge from the top down. Ask yourself Why would a company use diabetic testing material standards on protein powder equipment or products? Production managers come and go as fast as temps, and quality managers last slightly longer. The lower management team is uneducated, and inexperienced in a leadership role. On their last large transition, the Director of Operations gave his word that hours would be cut back from 60+ hours weekly down to a normal 40 hour week, but everybody would remain employed. The following Monday, well over half the staff was given unemployment paperwork. In all, GSC probably won t be around much longer as they seem to have issues completing small orders in a timely manner because they re more concerned with the larger contracts. Their record keeping practices leave something to be desired, and as a customer, I would be weary of the judgement of upper management and their ability to produce my product in a way that would protect my customers. GSC, you fail as a company because of the lack of training, professionalism, and leadership. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.

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