Stop 8: Metropak
Richardson, TX


As we near the Metropak (asi/70830) offices in Richardson, TX, we pass a sign on the road that smacks us in the face as soon as we get out of the car: 106 degrees. Yes, it’s a hot Texas day, but the Metropak folks sure know how to beat the heat. They do it with frozen margaritas, of course. We’re greeted with three of them, fresh from the company’s margarita machine, as we walk in the door.

Also practically in the doorway are the company’s employees, sitting at a long table all eating the fajitas, beans, nachos, guacamole and queso that the company whipped up this morning. Beyond the staffers sit a pool table and foosball table that people can enjoy during breaks and at random times during the day. And, these special touches are in addition to the workout room on site that employees can feel free to use.

“We like to provide a relaxed atmosphere around here,” says Eric Grossman, the owner and president of the 45-person company, which manufactures and prints millions and millions of bags in its 65,000-square-foot facility. “I’m a relaxed guy, and I think people appreciate working in an environment that doesn’t take itself too seriously.”

But Grossman and Edward Hanson, the executive vice president of the company who has known Grossman since they were in the third grade together, also work hard at recognizing the efforts of their employees. Grossman, who’s dressed in a bright Hawaiian shirt and often brings his yellow lab Cody to work, and Edward, who throws on a Road Tour tee the moment we walk in the door, thank their employees on this day and honor the winner of the highly coveted employee of the quarter award – who receives $500, a prime parking space and a trophy. “Thank you,” Hanson says to all his employees. “You all make this a great place to work. It’s fun and energetic and you make it that way.”

Indeed, Metropak wants to put all of its employees on a level playing field, going so far as beginning a renovation to the offices this year that will result in every person in the company working in cubicles – including Grossman and Hanson. “You miss things when you’re in an office,” Grossman says. “I want to be a part of the action like everybody else.”

But Grossman also makes a point to thank his employees throughout the year, throwing a legendary Christmas party at his house every December. Every employee leaves the event with a gift. Not just any small gift, these end-of-year prizes range from flat screen TVs and Blu-Ray players to household appliances of every shape and size. “It’s a really fun event,” says one employee, who’s just finishing her fajita-and-margarita lunch. “The Christmas party here shows how much Metropak treats us like a family.”

And that’s exactly the way Grossman and Hanson want it. “We treat our people well because they deserve it,” Grossman says. “They know as long as they do what they’re supposed to do, then we take care of them.”

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