Granite Tape built from scratch

Mar. 15, 2014 @ 10:18 AM

In 1983, Barton Potter was running a drywall company, Potter Drywall, when his tape and plastic supplier proposed an idea: If someone built a machine to re-roll tape, they could make a lot of money.

Potter, skilled in engineering and mechanical work, decided to build one – going into business with the tape supplier until the beginning of 1984, when he bought him out and founded Granite Tape Company. The company takes in large rolls of manufactured tape, some as big as 68 inches, and re-rolls them into smaller rolls ready to be sold in a retail store.

Today, all the machines that operate in the two-building, 12,000-square-foot facility were built from scratch by Potter, whose son Donnie now owns and runs the business.

Granite Tape started with a single re-rolling machine in Barton Potter’s basement, moving to the garage, and eventually to the specialty-built facility on Cedar Street in Granite Falls that the company uses today.

“We’re basically a small family business,” said Donnie Potter, who took over the business in 1997.

Inside, shelves are filled with dozens of styles of tape from every color on the rainbow, row after row of duct tape, masking tape, carton-sealing tape, painter’s tape, industrial tape and more. In all, the company carries 168 types, broken down into about six main categories, Potter said.

Most of the company’s products are used for manufacturing purposes, such as in furniture factories, but some also go to retail outlets.

Customers can even come in off the street if they’re looking for a specific type of tape, and Granite Tape sells it by the single roll, sleeve or box.

Granite Tape employs four full-time and two part-time workers, but things may be speeding up and expanding soon, as Potter has a customer lined up that could bring in a lot of business near the end of April.

When it comes to a potential new employee, Potter said, the most important thing is common sense and the ability to learn the differences between the different types of tape, saying anyone ready to work can be trained on the machines.

Depending on what tape is being rolled and how much, six to 12 re-rolling machines and two cutting machines can produce a truckload of tape in five weeks, Potter said, shipping all across the United States.

What sets Granite Tape Company apart from its competitors is quality and price, Potter said.

“We put out a good product at a good price that saves the user money,” he said.