It all began with a purchase of a forklift.
When Armin and Hans Pagenkopf decided to invest in a forklift for their Calgary-based potato and produce business in 1963, little did they realize it would lead them to found one of the largest pallet manufacturers in the province.
While transporting their goods, they found little to no resources for the much-needed wooden bases, so they decided to build their own, spending evenings assembling them with hammers, nails, and a saw. It was then that they determined a sideline could complement their expanding business. After several years of successful agricultural production, the brothers sold their operation to Associated Grocers Ltd., put up $500 each, and started the Alberta Pallet Co. Ltd. in 1967.
Soon Alberta Pallet grew out of its location in Calgary and pulled up stakes to set up shop in Airdrie. This allowed them the opportunity to purchase a 40,000 square foot plant, which now produces over 1,000 units per day. Alberta Pallet uses four million board feet of lumber per year and keeps about one million board feet in stock at any one time.
As business grew, so did the Pagenkopf family. Three sons, Mark, Bernie, and Doug grew up in the family business, each contributing their efforts. Mark, who took special interest in the industry, dedicated after school hours and weekends to learn all he could about the business.