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Poultry machinery company celebrates 70 years
0619marel4
Wayne Swinson sets up a milling machine for the next job.

Marel Stork through the years

  • 1944: Gainesville Machine Co. is founded. The company is established as a metal working job shop, specializing in welding fabrication and machining. 
  • 1952: Southern Equipment, a sales company, is established to market the products manufactured by Gainesville Machine Co. 
  • 1965: Gainesville Machine Co. is presented the Presidential Excellence in Exporting Award by President Lyndon B. Johnson on March 9.
  • 1971: Gainesville Machine Co. is sold to the Chickmaster Corp., and its name changed to GAMCO in 1973. The same year GAMCO moves into a new 113,000-square-foot building, allowing 13 departments at seven locations to move into one modern building.
  • 1975: Stork Acquisitions Corp. purchases GAMCO, and the name is changed to Stork Gamco.
  • 1980: The company’s first computer, an IBM mainframe with MAPICS software, is installed. 
  • 1997: Ground is broken on the total renovation and expansion of the existing facility, official opening one year later.
  • 2008: Stork Food Systems is purchased by Marel.

Gainesville’s Marel Stork Poultry Processing recently celebrated its 70th anniversary with a picnic attended by over 350 employees, North Georgia residents, industry members and elected officials.

The company started in 1944 as Gainesville Machine Co., specializing in welding fabrication and machining. Now, as Marel Stork, the focus is on poultry processing equipment and systems design, sales, manufacturing and distribution.

“It was great day. A very good day to have everyone there.” said Einar Einarsson, president of Marel USA.

Marel purchased Stork Food Systems in 2008, making it the epicenter of Marel’s U.S. market.

“We had been working closely on a partnership level for many years,” he said. “In 2008 the companies got together and since the facility in Gainesville was a part of Stork group and it came in the deal. It’s a good location because Gainesville is the poultry capital of the U.S. and the U.S. is our biggest market.”

The Gainesville location employs about 230 people in its 250,000-square-foot research, design and fabrication facility.

“Through our employees’ dedication, the company has become a worldwide leader of advanced processing equipment solutions,” Einarsson said.

Kris Carroll, marketing manager for Marel Stork, said the company wanted to have as big a celebration as possible.

“It was especially nice to celebrate because the poultry industry, as a whole, has had a tough time these last couple of years. To be able to celebrate such longevity to one community and show we’re committed to being here was just a wonderful thing.”

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