A label maker with 105 employees is moving from central Stockton to Lodi, officials announced Thursday.
MEPCO Label Systems is moving to the former Thule manufacturing site at Stockton Street and Kettleman Lane. The location had previously been used as a factory for Valley Towing. MEPCO production will begin at the new location in November.
Councilman Phil Katzakian said Thursday night that the company was drawn to Lodi in part because of attractive utility rates.
“It’s great to welcome a company with more than 100 jobs to Lodi,” Katzakian said. “We’ve very pleased to see them make this move.”
MEPCO makes labels for various products, including food and wine labels. It is currently housed in seven buildings spread over three blocks of building space in Stockton. It has been located in Stockton since 1912.
The move to Lodi will allow consolidation at one property.
“We were bursting at the seams, and this move will allow us so many more opportunities for growth,” said Jennifer Gassner-Tracy, president of the company. Her husband, Phil Tracy, oversees operations, and her brother, Karl Gassner, is head of sales.
MEPCO’s workforce earns wages ranging from minimum wage to $30 per hour for an experienced printer.
The new location is within Lodi’s portion of the San Joaquin County Enterprise Zone, which provides state tax relief.
Mayor JoAnne Mounce said she is excited to see MEPCO move north.
“Not only do we have low electric rates, but we have a cooperative city staff and a unique quality of life that businesses and their employees can enjoy,” she said.
Mounce and Councilman Bob Johnson both alluded to the MEPCO announcement during a city council candidate debate on Thursday night at the Lodi Public Library.
According to the company’s website, MEPCO is owned and operated by two generations of the Gassner family.