In honor of Anthro’s 30th birthday this year, each month we’ll tell a story from our past based on our most senior employees’ memories. Thanks to all of you for your continued support. We’re excited for what’s to come!
(LEFT) Without our own manufacturing plant, we'd have piles of bought-out shelves. One unfortunate time, a rack collapsed. (RIGHT) Tim Allen working at our new router. Anthro could now make to order!
Just 8 years after Anthro’s doors opened in 1984, we became an official manufacturing company. We moved from contracting everything out in the production of the AnthroCart to bringing our first manufacturing process in house. The arrival of that first machine, a router (also known as a computer controlled cutting machine) marked a new beginning.
At the time, our office was on Yeon Street in Northwest Portland, and because we couldn’t fit the machine there, we had to rent industrial space: a 10,000 square foot facility on Swan Island, an industrial district in North Portland.
To celebrate the monumental event, co-founders Cathy Filgas and Shoaib Tareen turned off the phones and closed up the office, so everyone could go out to Swan Island to watch the machine arrive.
“These two gigantic semi-trucks pulled up with crates as big as a house on it,” Jeff McCaffrey, VP of Design and Engineering, remembers, “and we celebrated the arrival of our first machine.”
“The whole company went over there? Really?” Cathy asks, incredulously, during our reminiscing session.
“Yeah, we canceled the rest of the day, and just had a party,” Jeff says, laughing. “That’s when we could drink at work.” (A whole other story…)
We’ve grown a lot since then, eventually graduating from the space on Swan Island to our plant in Tualatin that spans over 130,000 square feet. We’ve added powder coating, metal fabrication and surface technology so our entire product line can be manufactured in house.
Things have changed a lot over the last 30 years, but our commitment to and passion for manufacturing all Anthro products in Oregon is as strong as it was on that exciting day in ’92. We’d love it if you visited and got a tour of the plant. Just contact us at (800) 325-3841 to set up a time!