Berkshire Paper Company
Before he was Berkshire Corporation’s founder and CEO, Whitmore B. “Nick” Kelley was in need of money to pay for college. With an idea, he picked up waste paper from a local Western Massachusetts paper mill, brought it home, and began making scratch pads.
Calling his fledgling creation Berkshire Paper Company, Kelley was one of the nation’s earliest recyclers, taking waste that would have otherwise been headed to the dump and turning it into usable product.
Berkshire Paper Company soon outgrew the basement of his home. Rescuing a building slated for the wrecking ball, Kelley purchased and converted what would soon be his first manufacturing plant. He acquired used processing equipment, developed new manufacturing efficiencies, and built a steady base of customers — until business was interrupted by national affairs.
After a tour in Asia, Kelley returned to Western Massachusetts to pick up where he left off. Over time, he won back most of his former paper customers — they ranged from retail insurance companies to office supply stores — and he began branching into cutting and packaging services for local paper mills as well. With a prime location near Boston and New York City, Berkshire Paper Company’s products and services began to attract new clientele throughout the eastern United States.