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Profile: Royer Corp.: Madison company is the largest swizzle-stick maker in the U.S. One order: 14 million.

A GUITAR-SHAPED cocktail stir for Hard Rock Care, a surfboard swizzle stick for Disney World and countless more styles for other restaurants and casinos are all made in Indiana.

The producer: Royer Corp., the largest U.S. swizzle stick manufacturer, headquartered and operating its only plant in Madison.

With some 800 stock molds--from palm trees to exotic dancers and baseball bats to fishing reels--and more custom created every year, Royer is king in the plastics world when it comes to drink stirs, food picks and meat markers. It also makes floral picks, in 130 designs, and bag tags, key tags, name badges, ice scrapers, license plate frames and cake decorations.

Not a few here and there, Minimum orders are 25,000, and one order came to 14 million.

Business is good, reports CEO Randy Williams, who has headed the 40-employee, family-owned business lot four years.

"We had our best year ever in 2003, when a lot of companies were struggling," he says. ':People still go to casinos and resorts. They still buy birthday cakes for their kids And those are our products."

A turnkey operation helps, Williams says. "We do everything in-house." That includes design, tool making, molding, decorating, assembling, packaging and warehousing product for just-in-time deliveries "We're a small company, so we have a lot of flexibility, and that's key. We can do a quick turn-around. We've done jobs in two to three days for people who really needed it."

Most selling is direct-to-the-customer by an in-house sales staff. "We have about 500 active accounts all over the U.S. and in several other countries," Williams reports Customers include the Waldorf Astoria, MGM Grand, Grand Ole Opry, Harrah's and Caesar's. Its cake decorations are made for an Ohio company that packages and sells them to U.S. and Canadian commercial bakeries.

Founded in 1970 in Ohio and moved to Madison the following year, the company was sold in 1976 to Madison Plastics, then purchased in 1977 by today's owners.

They operated Royer for 22 years in a 5,000-square-foot facility. In 1998 they purchased a 60,000-square foot building vacated by U.S. Shoe Factory and moved into part of it in 1999. Today, Royer occupies about half of it.

That was a boon for Madison, says David Terrell, executive director of the Madison-Jefferson County Industrial Development Corp. "They took over an old building, and they've made it a thriving business with great potential for expansion. Companies like Royer are what make local economies grow and thrive."

It's a perfect site, Williams says. "A lot of our people walk to our plant. We like the small-town atmosphere, the good work ethic and a community that gets behind you."

Terrell likes where the company is headed, too. "Royer is exploring ways to make their process more efficient, to improve technological capabilities, and to expand through exports."

While it has some markets outside the U.S., there's potential for more, Williams says. He's eyeing the European airline industry, for one. "And we're kicking around the idea of possibly manufacturing in the Republic of Georgia, where our plant manager's father has an injection-molding company. But that's down the road."
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Title Annotation:Regional Report Southeast
Author:Mayer, Kathy
Publication:Indiana Business Magazine
Article Type:Company Profile
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2004
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Next Article:Indiana stocks.

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