The year was 1963… President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas and Vice President Lyndon Johnson became President. The accused assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald was shot and killed a short time later. 200,000 people marched on Washington in support of civil rights and Dr. Martin Luther King delivers his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. “My Favorite Martian” was the popular TV show and “The Birds” was a hit at the box office. Postal rates skyrocketed to 5 cents for a first class letter and zip codes were introduced to the public. Audio cassettes were introduced and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Yankees in the World Series.

In that same unforgettable year, Uniflex was born on January 15, 1963. It was the brainchild of five partners: Herbert Barry, Warner J Heuman, Manfred Heuman, Emanuel Reifler, and Eric Vetter. Physical operations started mid-April of that year in Port Washington, N.Y. Despite having only one bag producing machine, they were able to supply special laundry bags for vendor machines used in the laundry mats.

Then in mid-1964, rumors swirled of a newspaper strike in the New York City area that would involve all publications. In a bold and brilliant move, Mr. Barry went to the Board of Education in Long Island City and convinced the senior buyer that the strike was going to be long and the newspapers that were typically used to line the lunch room garbage cans would not be available. He showed the buyer the unique blue bag Uniflex had for the laundry mats and advised that a modified 16x14x37 black bag would do the trick, saving both time and money. It was a huge hit and was one of the first commercial plastic garbage bags. The strike lasted almost a year and the Board of Education never went back to newspapers. Uniflex was growing with an exciting new product to sell to a vast market place.

Two years later Uniflex was able to secure the USA rights to a German bag that put a molded plastic handle on a polyethylene bag. Despite being undercapitalized, Uniflex started assembling this product using a variation of the machine that Mr. Vetter invented for the zipper slide fastener business.

New variations of this opaque plastic bag with a handle exploded with the concept of Vertical Display Packaging. The vertical display sales concept gave retailers the ability to merchandise lots of goods, utilizing a transparent bag with either a handle or hook and not limited counter space. Uniflex was off and running!

The new company motto and mission statement became Quality and Service. Every product had to be made perfectly and delivered on time. This became known as the “Uniflex Way.”

Fast forward to 2013 and it is still our mission to provide the best quality and service to our customers. For 50 years Uniflex has strived to be the best packaging supplier in the industry and we look forward to providing the “Uniflex Way” for years to come.

I wanted to personally acknowledge the “Fab Five” who created this great company in 1963 and honor every Uniflex employee who has helped to grow the company over the past five decades. It’s a tribute to all the hard work and dedication of our past and present employees that make this company the strongest it has been in the last 50 years.

I would like to say THANK YOU to all our wonderful customers throughout the years. Whether it was a $5 order or a $500,000 order, you made a difference in our history. We truly thank you for your business and we hope to continue our partnership for years to come.

I am proud to continue the “Uniflex Way” over my past 18 years and I look forward to another 50 years to come.


Robert M. Cunningham | President