Lakeshore Pallet Inc., a wooden pallet manufacturing and recycling firm based in Howards Grove in Sheboygan County, has been sold.
Mike and Kay Hannes of Plymouth purchased the company from Mark and Beverly Bender on March 2 for an undisclosed price. Bank First of Sheboygan provided senior financing and the Sheboygan County revolving loan fund provided a loan for the transaction. Hannes received assistance from the Sheboygan County Economic Development Corp. in completing the application process, including the creation of a business plan.
“Lakeshore Pallet provides much-needed resources so that our companies can distribute their products to the world,” said Jim Schuessler, business development manager at SCEDC. “It is a pleasure working with Mike and Kay so that employment can continue to grow in Howards Grove.”
Mike Hannes has been production manager at Lakeshore Pallet for 13 years.
“Having served as Lakeshore Pallet’s production manager, I know firsthand the commitment to high-quality products and superior customer service,” Hannes said. “It will be my pleasure to continue that tradition for our valued customer base.”
Lakeshore Pallet’s beginnings stretch back to the 1800s. It specializes in heat-treated pallets that comply with ISPM standards. Its pallets include components sourced entirely from the U.S. The company has about 25 employees, and Hannes plans to hire another eight to 10 employees over the next three years. He is exploring adding a partial second shift.
“I plan on hiring more since we ramped up production,” he said. “There was another company (which served Alliance Laundry LLC in Ripon) that went out of business and we took over a couple of their big accounts, so we’re going to need more employees so we can keep the manufacturing of our pallets readily available for that company.”