NEW BRITAIN - For Acme Monaco the key to running a successful business is family.
Spearheaded by brother and sister co-presidents Rebecca Karabin-Ahern and Lucas Karabin, the New Britain-based manufacturing company is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year.
The company was founded in 1947 in the basement of Harold Davies’ Plainville home as Acme Spring.
In 1965, Davies was ready to sell the business so he could retire to Florida. He knew Rebecca and Lucas’ grandfather, John Karabin, from grade school and wanted to sell him the business.
At the time John was unemployed after getting laid off from the company he was working for so he didn’t have the money to purchase Acme Spring.
“(Davies) said (to John Karabin), ‘I’m going to make you an offer you can’t refuse. I’ll stay on board for a year, I’ll teach you the business and my wife will teach your wife the books,’” said Rebecca. “And then it happened, John and Helen Karabin brought the business and here we are today.”
The company manufactures medical guidewires, orthodontic archforms, precision springs and metal stamping.
“We’re a diverse company and through a lot of innovation we are coming out with new products for the market, especially the medical market,” said Rebecca. “We’ve been very fortunate to be around, we’re growing strong for 70 years and we’re expanding our footprint globally.”
Today Acme Monaco employees over 200 people worldwide in its locations in New Britain, northern Maine and Singapore – all of whom they consider to be family.
“Being a family business means everyone here is family, and when we employ someone we feel like we are responsible for their whole family,” Rebecca said.
She said it is important for them to give back to their employees. This is done in a variety of ways such as rewarding employees with extra paid time off to spend with their families when they meet their sales goals.
During last year’s blizzard Rebecca treated employees who came in to work that day with pizza, something that one employee told The Herald was a little thing that meant a lot.
Acme Monaco also provides an endless amount of wellness programs for employees to take advantage of. These include running teams that participate in different marathons and 5Ks across the state, a health fair, on-site farmers markets and weight loss programs.
“It’s a nice benefit that we bring to our team members because you need to have that healthy workforce and that translates in the home as well,” Rebecca said.
While some Connecticut companies are uprooting their headquarters and leaving the state, Acme Monaco has no such plans.
“New Britain has a lot of talented employees. There’s a lot of skilled labor out there (in Connecticut) and we have a great team here,” Rebecca said. She added that many of the workers employed by Acme Monaco have been with the company for 20 to 40 years.
“These are our roots and we are very happy to be part of this community,” Rebecca said.
Being part of the community also means giving back to it, too. The company and its employees regularly support the Klingberg Family Centers, the New Britain YWCA, Juniors Achievement, Hoops for the Homeless and more.
Acme Monaco also offers opportunities for students at schools such as EC Goodwin Tech to get apprenticeships and later on, jobs.
“We’re waiting for that next generation,” Lucas said.
Angie DeRosa can be reached at 860-801-5063 or firstname.lastname@example.org