Opal Envelopes chalks up 25 years in business

By Richard Stuart-Turner, Monday 13 February 2017

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Sheetfed envelope manufacturer Opal Envelopes, which is celebrating its 25th birthday this year, has attributed its lasting success to a quality product and experienced staff.

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Opal Envelopes was established in March 1992

The firm, which has 25 employees and a turnover of around £2m, operates from 1,394sqm premises in Wolverhampton. The business was established in March 1992 and is currently jointly owned and run by sales director Brett Hopper, who joined 14 years ago, production director Ray Parkes and financial director Brin Morgan.

“We make a nice product that is very well renowned within the industry. And we’ve got a lot of experience – our production director and our production manager have got well over 80 years’ experience between them – so that helps as there’s very little we don’t know or can’t handle,” said Hopper.

“We operate in a small niche, and there are other people in it as well, but we’ve diversified in the last few years, having put a Moll [Versa-Fold folder-gluer] in for making all board envelopes that will do heavyweight envelopes up to 600gsm.

“We haven’t done much in the way of 600gsm yet but we’ve done a lot of 250gsm and 350gsm. It’s all bespoke sizes, which is what we tend to specialise in, and most of it is printed.”

The business also operates kit including an FL Smithe RA envelope folding machine as well as a W+D 49 and W+D 149 for producing pockets and a W+D Classic for producing both pockets and wallets. The firm can print flexo on all of its machines apart from the Moll.

Hopper said Opal has plans to further develop the packaging side of its business.

“This is a growing market, partly down to people ordering more things online. If you’ve got something heavy to send out then you can put it in an all board envelope and it’s not going to get damaged.”

He added: “We’ve also developed and trademarked a product called Expandelope. This is an envelope which we can do in either normal weights or heavy weights that looks like a normal envelope but has folds and creases in it which means it will expand into a gusset.

“We haven’t got a machine that makes gussets so we thought we’d take this slightly different route. It folds flat so if you want to print on it you can run it through a printing press and it will print better than a gusset would.”

The company will be marking its 25th anniversary by temporarily changing its logo and business stationery to highlight the occasion and sending out gifts to clients.

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