GREENSBORO, NC – STOKO® Skin Care, a world leader in the away-from-home skin care/hand hygiene market, has been producing quality skin cleansers in Greensboro, North Carolina, for 20 years. “This is a significant milestone for STOKO®,” states Dr. Reinhold Brand, President of Evonik Stockhausen, Inc. “Manufacturing products domestically helps strengthen the economy and shows our customers that STOKO® Skin Care is a long-term player in the hand cleaner market.”
It is an anniversary that almost went unrecognized, according to Ron Shuster, Product Line Director for STOKO® Skin Care. “A few employees were discussing the early days of STOKO®, and a debate ensued as to the exact year U.S. manufacturing began.” Some research in the company archives provided the answer.
The skin care product line started conducting business in North America in 1982 with three employees, one of whom, Armand Coppotelli, is still with the company. However, at that time all products were imported from manufacturing facilities in Germany. Bottles were printed with English text and filled manually from bulk totes, one 2-liter bottle at a time. It was not until late 1988 that the first production line was installed in North Carolina. KRESTO®, the product line’s flagship heavy-duty hand cleaner, became the first “made in the U.S.A.” offering when the Greensboro facility began full-scale manufacturing of large batches in 1989.
“Evonik Industries understands the market demands that the STOKO® product line must fulfill, and has approved multiple projects to keep the Greensboro manufacturing facility modernized,” Shuster observes. As a result, the plant has undergone many upgrades since it was opened. Over the past two decades, these corporate investments have included installation of additional production lines to allow for simultaneous bottling of different packaging containers. Specialized tube-filling machinery and automated palletizing equipment have also been installed.
From simple beginnings two decades ago with a trio of skin care pioneers, STOKO® Skin Care has grown dramatically to include substantial headquarter facilities that include production, warehousing and distribution, customer service, and marketing, as well as a dedicated sales force encompassing North America, Puerto Rico, Australia, and New Zealand. STOKO® Skin Care was the first, and to date the only, occupational skin care company to earn ISO 9001 quality management system certification, and ISO 14001 and Responsible Care® 14001 environmental management system certifications.
One thing is certain: like most twenty-year-olds, STOKO® Skin Care’s U.S. manufacturing is just starting to hit its stride. With STOKO®’s history of product innovation and a passionate dedication to being the premiere skin care specialist, the next 20 years promise to be very exciting.