> Out & About: Joe Novak of All Crate, Inc.

Out & About: Joe Novak of All Crate, Inc.

Out & About: Joe Novak of All Crate, Inc.
Its products travel far and wide around the world, yet there is a strong sense of family and local community at All Crate, Inc., located at 200 Lamberton Road in Windsor. Founded by Joe Novak in 1992, All Crate makes wooden crates that are used to ship products domestically and overseas for clients in the aerospace, power plant, window manufacturing, electronics, health care and other industries.

Joe worked as a quality engineer in an aerospace company before starting his business, but he soon knew it wasn’t for him. “I had started my own carpentry business after high school,” Joe says, “and was doing carpentry work all over the country, but I was starting to think about settling down,” Joe says. The inspiration for All Crate was born when the shipping company used by his father’s employer was unable to provide quality crates.

Joe launched the business in the garage of his parents’ home, an ideal location thanks to Windsor’s proximity to major highways, Bradley International Airport and the Connecticut River. Joe purchased his current building in 1998, expanded that building twice, and purchased additional property in 2016. All Crate now occupies more than 32,000 SF of office, warehouse and production space and employs about 20 people. Recently, Joe has been taking steps to make the company more environmentally conscious by adding a large solar panel system and trying to recycle as much material as possible.

Joe likes that every day is different, with a wide variety of items to crate. “I see so many things, from military weapons systems to all kinds of aerospace, medical and automotive products,” Joe says. “It’s always something different.” Among the most interesting shipments that he crated was part of a power plant, which was “so big that they had to put it on a barge in the Connecticut River and ship it around the southern tip of South America.”

Among the challenges that Joe faces is finding younger employees; most of his workers are in their 50s and 60s. He says the job doesn’t require a high skill level, but he’s looking for younger workers who have a good attitude and are willing to do quality work. As Joe says, “the crate goes from point A to point B, and then they throw it away,” so while each crate doesn’t have to be perfect, it must be of good, consistent quality. “The packaging is the first thing your customers see, and if they see a crate that’s crooked or not made right, they’ll wonder if the product inside is like that, too.”

All Crate is a family-oriented company. In 2000, Joe’s father (also Joe Novak) stepped in to help with the financial aspect of the business. “My dad is very good at managing a business and overseeing the books, which lets me go to bed at night without worrying.” Additionally, Joe says there is a possibility of passing the business down to one or more of his four children, now in their teens and twenties.

Membership in the Windsor Chamber of Commerce gives Joe a great way of networking and reaching potential local customers and vendors. “My dad always networked a lot in Windsor,” Joe says. “He was involved in Windsor politics for decades, from serving on the town council to being the longtime chair of the Public Building Commission.”

With his strong roots in Windsor, Joe Novak plans to continue to operate All Crate in town, the place where his business was born and where it has continued to thrive for more than 25 years—sending Windsor-made packing crates from our small town to places all over the globe.

By Aretha Prabawa


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Kiwanis Shad Derby Road Race
May 21 at Elm and Broad Street
Second Annual Clothing Drive
May 21 at CT Cat Connection, 40 Stevens Mill Lane, Windsor CT 06995
Shad Derby Day
May 21 at Windsor Town Green
Snap Back Fitness Boxing
May 21 at Stony Hill School
Tickborne Illness Support Group
May 21 at LP Wilson Community Center, 599 Matianuck Ave. Windsor
Open Classroom at the WAC Studios
May 22 at Windsor Train Station Studios
Hypertension Workshop
May 23 at Video Conference via Zoom
Intermediate II Art for Adults
May 23 at Windsor Train Station Studios
Windsor Toastmasters Club
May 23 at Zoom meeting, possible in-person meeting
Bring Your Gadgets to the Geeks
May 24 at Windsor Public Library 323 Broad Street Windsor, CT
May Business After Hours
May 25 at Windsor Chamber of Commerce office, 261 Broad Street
Advanced Adult Art
May 26 at Windsor Train Station Studios
Book Buzz Event
May 26 at Windsor Public Library 323 Broad Street Windsor, CT
Monthly Veteran's Coffee Hour
May 26 at Senior Center Cafe
Yoga Strong
May 26 at Wabi-Sabi Yoga and Wellness Center, 88 Day Hill Road, Suite 203
First Town Chat
Fridays at 161 Broad Street, Windsor
Second Annual Clothing Drive
May 28 at CT Cat Connection, 40 Stevens Mill Lane, Windsor CT 06995
Snap Back Fitness Boxing
May 28 at Stony Hill School
Open Classroom at the WAC Studios
May 29 at Windsor Train Station Studios
Intermediate II Art for Adults
May 30 at Windsor Train Station Studios
Bring Your Gadgets to the Geeks
May 31 at Windsor Public Library 323 Broad Street Windsor, CT
Advanced Adult Art
Jun 2 at Windsor Train Station Studios
Yoga Strong
Jun 2 at Wabi-Sabi Yoga and Wellness Center, 88 Day Hill Road, Suite 203
First Town Chat
Fridays at 161 Broad Street, Windsor
Second Annual Clothing Drive
Jun 4 at CT Cat Connection, 40 Stevens Mill Lane, Windsor CT 06995
Tickborne Illness Support Group
Jun 4 at LP Wilson Community Center, 599 Matianuck Ave. Windsor
Open Classroom at the WAC Studios
Jun 5 at Windsor Train Station Studios
WAC Portrait Painting Workshop
Jun 5 at WAC Train Station Studios
Gardens in the Hudson Valley
Jun 6 at Windsor Public Library 323 Broad Street Windsor, CT
Hypertension Workshop
Jun 6 at Video Conference via Zoom
Intermediate II Art for Adults
Jun 6 at Windsor Train Station Studios
Join our new Men's Club!
Jun 6 at Windsor Senior Center
Bring Your Gadgets to the Geeks
Jun 7 at Windsor Public Library 323 Broad Street Windsor, CT
Advanced Adult Art
Jun 9 at Windsor Train Station Studios
Virtual Book Club
Jun 9 at Windsor Public Library 323 Broad Street Windsor, CT
Yoga Strong
Jun 9 at Wabi-Sabi Yoga and Wellness Center, 88 Day Hill Road, Suite 203
38th Annual Chamber Cares Auction
Jun 10 at Mill Brook Clubhouse, 147 Pigeon Hill Road
First Town Chat
Fridays at 161 Broad Street, Windsor
Second Annual Clothing Drive
Jun 11 at CT Cat Connection, 40 Stevens Mill Lane, Windsor CT 06995
Open Classroom at the WAC Studios
Jun 12 at Windsor Train Station Studios
WAC Portrait Painting Workshop
Jun 12 at WAC Train Station Studios
Intermediate II Art for Adults
Jun 13 at Windsor Train Station Studios
Learn How to Lead Like a Pro
Jun 13 at Windsor Public Library 323 Broad Street Windsor, CT
Windsor Toastmasters Club
Jun 13 at Zoom meeting, possible in-person meeting
Bring Your Gadgets to the Geeks
Jun 14 at Windsor Public Library 323 Broad Street Windsor, CT
Board of Directors Mtg
Jun 14 at online
Advanced Adult Art
Jun 16 at Windsor Train Station Studios
Camino de Santiago Lecture
Jun 16 at Windsor Public Library 323 Broad Street Windsor, CT
Yoga Strong
Jun 16 at Wabi-Sabi Yoga and Wellness Center, 88 Day Hill Road, Suite 203
First Town Chat
Fridays at 161 Broad Street, Windsor
Second Annual Clothing Drive
Jun 18 at CT Cat Connection, 40 Stevens Mill Lane, Windsor CT 06995
Tickborne Illness Support Group
Jun 18 at LP Wilson Community Center, 599 Matianuck Ave. Windsor
Windsor House Tour is Back!
Jun 18 at Windsor Historical Society
Open Classroom at the WAC Studios
Jun 19 at Windsor Train Station Studios
Intermediate II Art for Adults
Jun 20 at Windsor Train Station Studios
Join our new Men's Club!
Jun 20 at Windsor Senior Center
Programs Committee Mtg
Jun 20 at online
Strawberry Festival and Vendor Fair
Jun 20 at Brown's Harvest 1911 Poquonock Ave
May Business After Hours
May 25 at Windsor Chamber of Commerce office, 261 Broad Street
38th Annual Chamber Cares Auction
Jun 10 at Mill Brook Clubhouse, 147 Pigeon Hill Road
Board of Directors Mtg
Jun 14 at online
Programs Committee Mtg
Jun 20 at online
Kiwanis Shad Derby Road Race
May 21 at Elm and Broad Street
Second Annual Clothing Drive
May 21 at CT Cat Connection, 40 Stevens Mill Lane, Windsor CT 06995
Shad Derby Day
May 21 at Windsor Town Green
Snap Back Fitness Boxing
May 21 at Stony Hill School
Tickborne Illness Support Group
May 21 at LP Wilson Community Center, 599 Matianuck Ave. Windsor
Kiwanis Shad Derby Road Race
May 21 at Elm and Broad Street
Second Annual Clothing Drive
May 21 at CT Cat Connection, 40 Stevens Mill Lane, Windsor CT 06995
Shad Derby Day
May 21 at Windsor Town Green
Snap Back Fitness Boxing
May 21 at Stony Hill School
Tickborne Illness Support Group
May 21 at LP Wilson Community Center, 599 Matianuck Ave. Windsor
Open Classroom at the WAC Studios
May 22 at Windsor Train Station Studios
Hypertension Workshop
May 23 at Video Conference via Zoom
Intermediate II Art for Adults
May 23 at Windsor Train Station Studios
Windsor Toastmasters Club
May 23 at Zoom meeting, possible in-person meeting
Bring Your Gadgets to the Geeks
May 24 at Windsor Public Library 323 Broad Street Windsor, CT
May Business After Hours
May 25 at Windsor Chamber of Commerce office, 261 Broad Street
Advanced Adult Art
May 26 at Windsor Train Station Studios
Book Buzz Event
May 26 at Windsor Public Library 323 Broad Street Windsor, CT
Monthly Veteran's Coffee Hour
May 26 at Senior Center Cafe
Yoga Strong
May 26 at Wabi-Sabi Yoga and Wellness Center, 88 Day Hill Road, Suite 203
First Town Chat
Fridays at 161 Broad Street, Windsor
Second Annual Clothing Drive
May 28 at CT Cat Connection, 40 Stevens Mill Lane, Windsor CT 06995
Snap Back Fitness Boxing
May 28 at Stony Hill School
First Town Chat
Fridays at 161 Broad Street, Windsor
Kiwanis Shad Derby Road Race
May 21 at Elm and Broad Street
Second Annual Clothing Drive
May 21 at CT Cat Connection, 40 Stevens Mill Lane, Windsor CT 06995
Shad Derby Day
May 21 at Windsor Town Green
Snap Back Fitness Boxing
May 21 at Stony Hill School
Tickborne Illness Support Group
May 21 at LP Wilson Community Center, 599 Matianuck Ave. Windsor
Open Classroom at the WAC Studios
May 22 at Windsor Train Station Studios