History of CalBox Group
1970 — John Widera began his career in the corrugated industry after working for such
companies as Fairbanks Morse, Beloit Wi., Caterpillar in Peoria IL and Belgium,
and Bemis Co., Sheboygan, WI.
He began work for his new employer, General Corrugated Machinery Co.,
in New Jersey.
1976 — John and two partners started Action Box Co., in Houston, Texas.
1978 — In Arizona, John started a custom packaging company, Tucson Container (TCC)
and Kino Packaging, in an airplane hanger.
1983 — John resigned from General Corrugated Machine Co. He was western regional
manager covering 8 states, western Canada and Mexico.
1984 — California Box Co. was created in April 1984, by Ed St. Hilaire and John Widera.
The sheet plant operated out of a 60,000 sq. ft. facility in Pico Rivera CA,
selling primarily to brokers and distributors.
1986 — CalBox took legal action against the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) - and won.
1990 — Cal Box II was started in Rancho Cucamonga (located near Ontario International Airport).
1993 — After buying out his partner, John relocated CalBox to its present 180,000 sq. ft. facility in Santa Fe Springs CA.
1995 — CalBox Group designed, built, and moved into an 110,000 sq. ft. facility on 7 acres next to a Rancho Cucamonga golf course.
It is one of the finest automated sheet plants in California.
1997 — West Texas Container (WTC) started operating in a 35,000 sq. ft. building leased near Mexico's border in El Paso, Texas.
There was a need for quality printing and J.I.T. (Just In Time).
1999— John Widera was chosen by Boxboard Containers-International, as one of fifty 20th century leaders in the box industry.
2000 — Tucson Container moved into its new modern 150,000 sq. ft. building on 18 acres, near the Tucson airport.
It manufactures corrugated boxes & displays, foam, and wood crating, and is also a distributor for packaging supplies.
2001 — Our sheet feeder, CB Sheets, opened operations with the purchase of a new 98” computerized fast setup corrugator.
A 25,000 sq. ft. addition was built for the conveyors moving sheets from the corrugator to converting machinery and shipping.
2003 — West Texas Container moved into its own 85,000 sq. ft. facility, located on 8 acres in ElPaso.
It is located about 5 minutes from the border crossing at Juarez, Mexico.
2003 — 2007 CalBox replaced old machinery at all four plants with state-of-the-art converting machinery.
Financing came from the CalBox Group.
Result: quality products, with minimal debt.
2006— Action Box, Houston TX, built a new building and installed a corrugator. Sales are $40 million annually.
2011 — The CalBox Group purchased a 150,000 sq. ft. industrial building on 8 acres in Mesa (Phoenix) AZ, and installed
a new $9,000,000 corrugator, plus $4,000,000 in ancillary equipment.
2012 — John resigned as president, but remains as Chairman of the Board.
His son, Chris Widera, is named CEO of Cal Box Co. and Cal Box II.
2015 — Chris Widera became CEO of all five corrugated facilities of the CalBox Group.
2016 — John Widera sold his stock in Action Box, Houston TX, to Hood, a paper mill, for $15 million (before taxes).
2017 — Purchased $4 million in upgrade machinery. Purchased 16,000 sq. ft. building in Mesa AZ, as usual, with cash.
CalBox Group now has close to 400 employees, with 700,000 sq. ft. under roof, and combined sales close to $100 million.