From its inception, Kopak can trace its roots back to May 1968 – now 50 years on, and celebrating this important anniversary, we look back at our long trading history.
Formed as a Management Buyout from the Avon Rubber Company (yes, of tyre production fame) Kopak is still proudly a privately owned family company. Originally known as Kopak-Walker Ltd, it was based in High Wycombe, Bucks, and was originally named after the founder – Mr Basil Walker who previously worked for Avon Tyres.
With the help of other family members it grew in stature and by reputation of its excellent customer service and product quality.
The company converted and distributed a wide range of synthetic rubber products for numerous industrial applications. Materials were purchased in extruded and sheet form and were cut to length, punched and slit using a variety of powered and manually operated machines. The labour contribution in the early days was often high. Most materials were sourced in the UK from a plethora of factories able to supply in abundance.
As with many industries, the 1970’s and 1980’s saw a steady decline in manufacturing companies in the UK, and the rubber industry suffered in the same way, with companies closing, merging or consolidating across the board. Throughout this period Kopak-Walker continued to maintain its presence and remain independent and profitable through some tough economic times.
Gradually, as with us all, retirement by the founder meant new management could take over the control, this was by the steady and competent hands of David Cockburn, for many years.
Then, in the new millennia, the time came for David to sell and the present owner Peter Estwick acquired the business in March 2002.
Having gained many years of experience and contacts in the rubber business for over 25 years, it was then time to take the company in new directions.
The company relocated to Hitchin in Hertfordshire in 2006, by which time new markets had opened up, along with many new product lines. Production in house ceased, and the company was eventually renamed Kopak Rubber & Plastics, concentrating on the sourcing of new and innovative products. These led to new buying opportunities all over Europe and Asia and has given the company access to a wide range of new product technologies. Today Kopak has access to many high quality suppliers and partners all around the world, able to offer our customers many new lines, whist continuing to provide the same high level of customer service and quality.
We are proud of our history, and our continuing growth, committed to a sustainable future for all our customers, employees and partners. We intend to be around for the next 50 years and hope you will celebrate with us in this, our 50th Anniversary.
Peter Estwick MD Kopak Group