FROM GROCERY TO FARM GOODS
In 1885, Myron Gilbert Newell opened his first business in Greensboro, NC: The South Side Grocery Store. As a local business, the store was very successful selling meats, dry goods, and notions but Newell wanted to cater more to the farmers.
In 1892, Myron Newell opened a new location based on more specialty goods called, M.G. Newell and Company. This store began selling vehicles, bikes, harnesses, hand churns, pails, and a line of “cow remedies” in an effort to support the agricultural community.
MYRON SELLS THE BUSINESS
By the late 1800’s M.G. Newell & Company moved to Elm Street, right in the middle of a very boisterous downtown Greensboro. At the turn of the century, Newell developed claustrophobia and his health dwindled due to the close confinement of the city.
In 1904, he sold the business to Petty-Reid Company, and he and his wife went on their way. The name, M.G. Newell, and its corner on the agricultural market remained the same as many continued traveling to town to secure their implements, bikes, harnesses and supplies.
MYRON COMES BACK & ADDS PARTNERS
Four years later in 1908, Myron G. Newell returned to Greensboro, purchased the business back, and incorporated the company.
Newell named his mentor, R.G. Campbell, President while he assumed the role of Secretary and General Manager. Campbell honed his skills at the big cotton mills in Greensboro which aligned M.G. Newell with a major provider: White Oak, Proximity and Revolution (Cone Mills).
As we continued to evolve, another big decision by Newell came in 1912. Adding to our line of buggies and bicycles, Newell signed on to be a dealer for a new “bike” out on the market: Harley-Davidson!
SELLING SANITARY EQUIPMENT
In the 1920s, M.G. Newell continued providing farm implements and Harley Davidson parts in addition to moving into the sanitary processing industry. We sold cream separators, pumps, and sanitary process equipment with customers in NC, SC, GA, VA, TN and WV.
It was around this time M.G. Newell moved around the corner to what would become a historic Greensboro location on Davie Street, in 70-years’ time.
A ‘CASH COW’ IDEA
In 1925, Myron’s son Burton pushed his dad to consider selling more dairy products. When met with resistance, Burton hit the road and soon proved what a ‘cash cow’ dairy plant equipment could be!
By the early 1930s, dairy plants across the mid-Atlantic were buying pasteurizers, cooling equipment, and automated washers from us.
Business kept up with change and M.G. Newell survived the Great Depression. By 1934, we were poised for more growth, the next world war, and the next generation…
PASSING THE TORCH
In 1935, Hase Smith joined the company as a shipping clerk. No one knew at the time, that Smith would go on to become president of the company and provide 50 years of service. In addition to Smith, the company hired a third generation of Newell in 1936: Burton M. Newell Jr. The same year, we lost our founder.
September 21, 1936, Myron Gilbert Newell passed away. With his death, the leadership passed on to his son, Burton M. Newell who handled pivotal changes in the coming years.
MORE TIME FOR ICE CREAM
In 1946, a new company founded by former officers of M.G. Newell, split off the implements business and named it Baldwin-Garrett Company. This allowed us to focus solely on the dairy industry with a new slogan, “Machinery and Supplies for the Milk and Ice Cream Industries.”
Jack Fleming Sr., also joined the company at this time, known for his role in the first HTST pasteurization installation at NC State University. His tenure with the company lasted over 50 years.
We also started a tradition built to last: M.G. Newell 3-month calendars. Customers (even retired) call and ask for a copy of M.G. Newell calendars to this day.
NEW PARTNERS & OUR FIRST WAREHOUSE
As M.G. Newell entered the next decade, our sanitary equipment sales grew alongside the list of manufacturers we represented. Partners included: Cherry-Burrell, Girton Manufacturing, Waukesha, Gaulin (now APV), Chester-Jensen, Sani-Matic, Sparta Brush, and Haynes Spray. What’s more, we are proud to represent all of these manufacturers to this day! In addition to the sanitary process equipment, we offered a line of ingredients including chocolate cocoa and fruit purees, as well as stabilizers, milk crates, screw caps, chemicals, extracts and dairy cultures.
After almost 40 years on Davie Street, M.G. Newell built a brand-new building and moved to the east side of Greensboro at 200 Raleigh Street. In 1960, Hase Smith became president of the company and added a warehouse to the new property in order to handle all ice cream and novelty ingredients growth.
MORE THAN DAIRY
During Hase Smith’s leadership, M.G. Newell Company, Inc. began another growth phase. Dairy was not the only industry we served any longer. Beverage, food, and personal care plants began to fill our customer list. From the 1960s-1970s we stocked equipment and supplies for all types of sanitary processing.
In addition to stocking equipment, we became a resource for installation and integration services. Our welders were capable of hooking up pumps, tanks, and other capital equipment. We performed small installations throughout the mid-Atlantic and southeast. We were on to something and were preparing ourselves for growth and expansion.
DEFINING THE PROCESS
During this time, we moved into systems integration. We partnered with businesses across the entire southeastern United States designing, fabricating, and installing sanitary process systems. In the greater Miami metro area, we designed and installed an HTST that tripled the plant’s volume overnight!
Our sales eclipsed $10 million and we supported 26 full-time employees by the end of this decade. However, the last Newell retired! In 1982, Buddy Newell called it a career. Tom Johnson and Jack Fleming joined John and Sally Sherrill in purchasing the business from the Newell’s on December 1, 1984. With new leadership came new direction.
NEW TERRITORIES & GROWTH
In 1987, M.G. Newell purchased Food Equipment and Supply Company in Tampa, FL. The Tampa Division of M.G. Newell, which it would later be named, focused primarily in the citrus, food and beverage industries.
On March 1, 1994, M.G. Newell opened an office in Louisville, KY. Within 10 years of the new leadership, we transformed into a business with three divisions: Greensboro, NC, Tampa, FL, and Louisville, KY.
Now, as M.G. Newell Corporation, our distribution and systems integration services were continuing to grow, and our sales were at an all-time high. Another move was soon to follow.
NEW & CURRENT LOCATION
After five moves during our first century of business, M.G. Newell moved to our current location on Citation Court in 1996. This office houses our corporate office, our Greensboro division, our main distribution warehouse and our fabrication shop.
It was at this location where we survived Y2K, or our second turn of a century! Our Louisville division still resides at the Bishop Lane location where we started in 1994.
GROWTH IN TENNESSEE
In the summer of 2012, M.G. Newell took another step forward in its growth. Under the direction of Vic Davis, a new office was opened in Hendersonville, Tennessee, a suburb of Nashville. This office, initially supported with inside sales and technical service, enabled us to better service our customers in western Tennessee, northern Alabama and northern Mississippi. It quickly grew to include additional inside and outside sales support, engineering services and warehousing capability. This newest M.G. Newell team continues the tradition of providing expert solutions for sanitary processing.
In 2008, M.G. Newell took another step forward in its growth. A new segment – Newell Automation – was formed. Newell Automation, now under the leadership of Carlton Davenport, consists of a team of controls engineers, electricians and calibration technicians. Their focus is to develop software and hardware controls systems for customers in the sanitary processing market. Specialties include control panel design and fabrication, automation hardware, HMI design and programming, PLC design and programming and software audits and retrofits.
In January 2018, our Automation group moved into its own building in Greensboro, NC – just across the street from our Greensboro and Corporate office.
With over 130 years in business, M.G. Newell remains a vibrant and growing family-owned operation. We design and build innovative stainless-steel solutions for clients across numerous sanitary industry sectors including craft breweries, food & dairy plants, and even pharmaceutical manufacturing plants. We are home to a group of associates who care about our company’s health, our customer’s needs, our community’s interests, and each other.