As we head into 2021, Smalley Manufacturing Company will be celebrating our 80th anniversary! We are incredibly proud and humbled by this achievement. We credit our longevity to our founders, our clients for the trust and confidence they have instilled in us, and our incredible team that delivers their best every time. With that, our 80th year in business provides a natural opportunity to reflect on how the company has grown, evolved, and improved since its foundation.
Smalley Manufacturing Company has been providing high-quality conveyors and conveying systems since its beginning in 1930. In the 1900s, Alfred E. Smalley Sr.. began developing automation equipment for cracking and separating edible nuts. By 1930, Mr. Smalley had patented his automatic nut shelling machine, and quickly became known as a leading expert in the automation of shelling and picking edible nuts. Mr. Smalley and his family moved from Kansas City, MO to Knoxville, TN where he continued manufacturing equipment for the nut processing industry. In June of 1940, Smalley Manufacturing Co. Was born as it officially received its certificate of incorporation.
When Alfred Smalley passed away in 1954, his son Alfred (Al) E. Smalley Jr., inherited the company. Al continued designing and manufacturing nut shelling machinery while also developing conveyor equipment for the flexible packaging industry. In the early 1960s, the growth of the flexible packaging industry was exploding and eventually led to Smalley Manufacturing’s focus on designing and manufacturing the leading sanitary automatic feeding, elevating, and conveying machinery available.
To combat the need for a larger manufacturing facility due to the fast growth of Smalley’s line of conveying equipment and customer base, Al purchased a property in 1965 and built the manufacturing facility that is still in operation today. Over the years, Smalley Manufacturing has developed and patented some of the most innovative conveying equipment in the world. In fact, many of its customers are a part of the Forbes Fortune 500 list of leading food processing companies. When Al passed away in 1997, Dale Roberto became President of the company. After Mr. Roberto’s death in 2015, the company continued operations under the ownership of seven shareholders, and the leadership of Eric Giffen, serving as President and CFO.
To this day, Smalley Manufacturing continues to design and manufacture the highest quality conveyors and conveying systems for the food industry operating out of Knoxville, TN. Even though the company has seen significant growth over the years, they have always maintained the vision that Alfred E. Smalley Sr. developed over 80 years ago; “To be the most respected name in custom designed and manufactured conveyors and conveying systems in North America. We strive to continue our transformation in manufacturing, engineering, sales, service, and management techniques as an ongoing learning process, while striving diligently and conscientiously to build and improve our relationship with our customers, our employees, and our suppliers, by always remembering that in a truly successful company, everybody wins.”