California packaging business broadens NWA investment

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 1,049 views 

California-based Berkley International, which designs, manufactures and assembles retail displays and packaging, is investing in its Northwest Arkansas operations with new office space and new equipment.

Co-founder and CEO Eric Berkley said the family-owned business recently signed two new leases in Benton County — a two-person office inside the Ledger in downtown Bentonville (140 square feet) and design space inside a 41,510-square-foot building at 1001 S. 52nd St. in Rogers (9,896 square feet).

Berkley said the company spent more than $250,000 on two pieces of new equipment it will use in the Rogers design center, which will come online this spring.

Those two offices will complement a 78,000-square-foot Lowell warehouse at 316 Commercial Ave.

Berkley, who splits time between southern California and Northwest Arkansas, said the region’s entrepreneurial spirit influenced the company’s investment. He said the Los Angeles-based company first opened a Northwest Arkansas office in 2016. Approximately half of its 51 employees work in the region.

Eric Berkley

“[Entrepreneurial spirit] is one of our core values, so we love the talent and opportunities in Northwest Arkansas,” Berkley said. “I’ve traveled the world and never seen a town like Bentonville. It gives you a small-town vibe that is very family-friendly, a forward-thinking business environment, and many amenities of a much larger city, like great restaurants, hotels and music.”

“Being family-owned, we have a nimbleness that some of our larger competitors don’t have,” he said.

Berkley, 33, and his dad Jeff Berkley started the business in 2012 as a molded fiber (pulp) manufacturer. International Paper acquired that business in 2021 for an undisclosed price.

Revenue last year was between $30 million and $40 million. Berkley said Northwest Arkansas operations were responsible for about $10 million.

Berkley said the company hired former Vanguard Packaging executive Jarrett Dunn to lead the Rogers design center, and the company has additional project manager jobs to fill.