Manufacturing and Small Business & Startups

Intrepid Plastics in Grand Rapids closes

April 12, 2013
| By Pete Daly |
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The Business Journal has learned that Intrepid Plastics Mfg. in Grand Rapids has closed its doors as of April 11. The privately held company, which employed 13, is located at 2100 Nelson Avenue SE and was launched by Bonnie Knopf and a partner in January 2004.

Knopf is president of Intrepid, which was named by the Business Journal in early March as one of this year’s Top Women Owned Businesses in West Michigan, in the category for businesses with $1.49 million or less in revenues. Her company also was selected in 2009.

“We made it through the struggles and the economy. That had a big impact, but we were proud to have made it through. The financing and banking industry is just very tough right now. It’s tough for every small business,” Knopf said.

She said she was presented with some alternative opportunities for the business.

“The time was right. We had some opportunities, and this scenario was best,” Knopf said.

She said she will sell her book of businesses to another local company and that she is planning a sale of assets.

Intrepid Plastics Mfg. was a full-service plastics injection molding company, producing high quality and fast turn around of injection molded plastic parts and assemblies. It was ISO and WBENC certified.

Bonnie Nawara, CEO of Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women (GROW), said she had been in touch with Knopf recently and “from the conversations Bonnie and I had, she was working hard at making the company a success, doing all the right things. (She) just ran into a bump that she couldn’t get over.”

“Sometimes that happens, especially in the economic times we’ve had in the past. It’s been rough in the manufacturing environment,” added Nawara.

As part of the selection process for Top Women Owned Businesses, companies that are nominated must share their financial information with the Beene Garter accounting firm and Intrepid Plastics financial documents showed it to be a strong company for consideration.

One year after Knopf and a partner launched Intrepid Plastics, they went their separate ways. She told the Business Journal she had a customer base and continued filling orders with the help of another small company.

Knopf eventually found investors who got Intrepid into a new facility of its own in 2008. At that time, however, the recession was setting in and soon the company was on the verge of closing its doors. It survived, however, and she said a few months ago that the company was on an upward trend.

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