Opening day at Global Sticks, Inc., manufacturer of wood novelty sticks for ice cream and paint stirs.
Opening day at Global Sticks, Inc., manufacturer of wood novelty sticks for ice cream and paint stirs.

Global Sticks Inc. Opens Novelty Wood FactoryTHUNDER BAY, ON - Global Sticks Inc., a wood products manufacturer specializing in white birch items such as paint stirrers, tongue depressors and ice cream confection sticks, has opened a plant in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

The factory was the beneficiary of millions of dollars in grants from the Ontario provincial government and other foundations, in part because of Global Sticks' plans to migrate wood manufacturing from China to North America.

Global Sticks, Inc. produced some 8 billion ice cream sticks last year, as well as familiar food-related items such as corn dog and taffy apple sticks.

Founded in 2009, Global Sticks, Inc. was formed from the combination of Northwest Sticks, Inc. and Stormax International USA, which produces equipment for manufacturing wood sticks. In 2010, Global Sticks acquired the dairy and food stick business from Solon, which operated a state-of-the-art  manufacturing plant in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, and offshore manufacturing plant in Dalian, China.

Global Sticks received investment from Ontario's Northern Development, Mines and Forestry Ministry. Global Sticks and its partner, Stormax International, specialists in packing machinery, are operating out of a combined 85,000 square feet of new space which has the potential to create 145 jobs with expansion.

The  plant first broke ground in 2009, with start-up in May 2011. Intended to source wood supply locally, the plant began operations with wood imported from Minnesota. In August it secured a local supply from nearby Precision Wood, Murillo, ON, which specializes in locally sourced, under utilized species such as birch, poplar, and tamarack.

The plant is expected to create 130 new jobs, producing about six billion sticks per year. The Province provided $1.32 million to Global Sticks through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corp., and in 2009 provided Global Sticks with a $787,000 grant through the forestry sector prosperity fund and $2.9 million through the forest sector loan guarantee program.

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