Landis Plastics: Chicago family achieves the American Dream - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Landis Plastics: Chicago family business achieves the American Dream

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

There are few innovations in the last 100 years that changed our lives more than plastics. One local family led the way in the field for years. Patriarch Richard Landis has influenced the world for years to come.

When you go shopping at your favorite grocery store and check out, many of the products are the work of a Chicago man - one of the most accomplished innovative man you've never heard of.

Richard Landis' accomplishments are an example of the American Dream coming to fruition.

It was actually Richard's father Henry who started the business in 1954, focusing mostly on plastic wall tile with the housing boom brought on by World War II veterans, as depicted in a scene from "The Graduate."

By the time the 1960s came around, plastics was the fastest growing manufacturing sector in America. When the Landis family started making lids for Folgers Coffee, things really took off.

Meantime, Richard's wife Bonnie was busy working at home raising eight kids. They met years earlier, at a party where they had their first dance.

Throughout the 1970's, 80's and 90's the company continued to grow and meet the challenge of their clients and near their competitors to market. McDonalds, Cool Whip, Yoplait, Country Crock, Columbo, Open Pit and on and on.

The Landis' were also environmentally conscious, helping to lead the way in recycling of plastics.

He also put his kids to work in the family business. His son Russell and daughter Yvonne said being raised to be humble and grateful is the way it was.

Several years ago, Berry Plastics and its parent company Goldman Sachs came calling. At first the Landis' weren't interested, but the offers wouldn't stop. As the saying goes, they made the family an offer they couldn't refuse.

Although Richard is now retired, he is not done. He recently designed and marketed plastic grave markers.

Landis Plastics proves with hard work and determination, the great American dream can still come true!

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