Double Envelope was founded in 1917 by Joseph W. Baer in Roanoke, Virginia. The name Double Envelope was selected based on the Company’s initial focus on the two compartment church offering envelope which was popular at the time. With three stockholding officers and four employees, Double operated out of a tiny shop in Roanoke with one hand-fed printing press. The Company quickly outgrew the space and moved to a new, larger two story facility in 1925. That facility was expanded just a few years later to make room for folding equipment to manufacture envelopes. This quickly led to the production of commercial style envelopes and began a new era for the Company. The first “modern” folding machines, F.L. Smithe Wide Ranges, were purchased in 1934, and a second expansion of the downtown facility was completed in 1937.
By 1950, the Company began shifting its market focus from wholesalers and distributors to selling custom envelopes directly to end users. The Company also recognized the opportunity to produce highly specialized envelopes for the new and rapidly expanding photo finishing industry. Double once again outgrew its space and built a new 75,000 square foot plant specifically designed for envelope manufacturing. It was opened in 1960 and has since been expanded three times to more than 135,000 square feet. It now houses our corporate offices in addition to the Double Envelope and Convertagraphics manufacturing operations.
Double Envelope expanded into the Florida market in 1967 with the acquisition of Pan American Envelope in Miami. The plant was relocated to its current location in Gainesville, Florida in 1971. In 2008, the plant was expanded from 55,000 to more than 75,000 square feet to support growth.
Double Envelope continued to thrive and grow, and in 1987, the Baer family elected to sell the Company to a private equity firm. The Company was later sold to another private equity firm which integrated Double Envelope into DIMAC Corporation with the intent of forming a vertically integrated direct mail operation. While Double Envelope remained a profitable operating division of DIMAC, the integration plans were an over-reach, and the Company was sold to BSC Ventures in January, 2001. BSC was formed in 1999 by Brian Sass and Stockton Croft to buy Techno-Aide, a specialty manufacturer of X-ray accessory products, from National Service Industries (NSI). At the time, Brian was Vice President of Operations for Atlantic Envelope Company, a division of NSI and competitor of Double Envelope. Stockton was Director of Development for NSI.
Double Envelope has more than doubled in size under BSC’s leadership. Brian remains actively involved in the business as President and CEO, while Stockton provides strategic leadership through BSC’s Board. The senior management team of Double Envelope are all shareholders in BSC, and the entrepreneurial “owner operator” style of leadership has brought the Company full circle back to growth and innovation it experienced as a family owned business. In 2010, the Company made two strategic acquisitions which expanded the capacity, capability, and geographic reach of Double. Oles Envelope in Baltimore, Maryland provided a competitive machine base to support growth in the Mid Atlantic region. Wolf Envelope in Angola, Indiana created a platform to expand and service the major markets in the Mid West. The acquisition of Florida Envelope in 2013 brought flat sheet printing capability and a strong sales presence in the Florida market. Key production staff relocated to Gainesville along with the manufacturing assets and a sales office was maintained in Tampa.
Despite the growth, Double Envelope remains highly focused on responsive service and developing unique and customs solutions for its customers. The acquisitions have been seamlessly integrated into Double Envelope and provide the ability to efficiently move work between plants. This effort is supported by sharing and standardizing best practices as well as investment in systems to efficiently manage in a multi-plant environment. Disciplined strategic growth along with a dedication to execution has made Double Envelope the preferred supplier for many of the largest and most demanding mailers in the US today.