RJP Packaging continues growth after move to Pawtucket

RJP Packaging continues growth after move to Pawtucket

Ryan Powers shows off the newly upgraded RJP Packaging space at 1 Campbell St. (Breeze photo by Ethan Shorey)
Retail store open at 1 Campbell St.

PAWTUCKET – After moving from Providence in the spring, RJP Packaging is continuing its growth and now running a full retail store offering packaging, safety, janitorial and food service products, as well as equipment, at 1 Campbell St.

Formed as a family business in New York last year, RJP Packaging has become a full-service distributor.

Prior to starting RJP, Ryan Powers, a Providence College graduate, was an investment associate at JP Morgan for five years in New York City and his father, John Powers, was the president and COO for AEP Industries, acquired by Berry Global in January 2017, for 29 years.

Last November, RJP acquired the Packaging Supply Division of Admiral Packaging based in Providence. Admiral’s Packaging Supply Division has roots back to 1898, when it was known as the Union Paper Company. According to the new owners, RJP has continued the 119-year tradition of delivering the highest-value products and services to customers.

To best serve customers, as well as allow for growth and future expansion, RJP purchased its current 47,500-square-foot warehouse in Pawtucket, where a wholesale store is now open to the public at 1 Campbell St. from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Ryan Powers said Pawtucket officials made it easy to pick this city as the place to grow and expand in the future. Other communities, such as Lincoln, Cranston and Providence, either decided the company wasn’t the right fit or didn’t have the streamlined processes in place to make a move palatable, he said. City official Herb Weiss helped sell the company on Pawtucket as a new home, Powers said.

On Aug. 7, RJP acquired Aggressive Packaging Inc., of Lincoln. With more than 23 years of industry experience, Aggressive Packaging shares the same core values as RJP, he said.

Powers, a Providence resident after moving back to Rhode Island in June, is a 2011 graduate of Providence College and his father graduated from there in 1986. A number of other family members also attended the school.

“It’s kind of a homecoming for me,” he said. “I’m here to stay.”

The new owners have completed extensive upgrades at 1 Campbell St., previously home to an industrial manufacturer, including 18-foot shelving throughout, new LED lighting, and the buildout of the retail store.

The Powers family is looking to continue its organic growth, with goals of being a known distributor in the area and providing great service to customers, said Powers. Customers will find items for sale that don’t have the 50 or 60 percent margins often seen on the price tag in stores.

RJP is built on relationships, said Powers, with several clients and staff members having relationships of 20 years or longer with the company. The company has retained its employees gained through acquisitions, with 14 people now working at the facility.

Though the family was sad to see the PawSox announce a move out of town, they said Pawtucket still has a lot going for it, including a flourishing brewing scene and plenty of new commercial and residential development.

RJP offers products ranging from stretch film, containers, poly bags and strapping to bubble wrap, mailers, paper and tape. Items include paper goods, can liners, cleaning supplies and food service containers. Visit www.rjppackaging.com or call 401-274-5588 for more.