Making it happen: Just the right flavor of manufacturing in Devils Lake

Making it happen: Just the right flavor of manufacturing in Devils Lake Main Photo

10 Nov 2022


Manufacturing isn’t just for large businesses. In fact, 98.6% of all manufacturing companies in the United States are small businesses. At their core, manufacturing businesses create products from raw materials or components either by machines or by hand. Most commonly, these goods are made in plants, factories, and mills, but they’re also made in people’s homes. Small business manufacturers are often nimble enough with the profit margins that they can afford to produce custom or specialty products that larger manufacturers cannot.

Manufacturing is essential to many industries and has a massive impact on the U.S. economy. For small business manufacturers, the future couldn’t be brighter as advances in technology and artificial intelligence provide more automation opportunities. It’s a great time to own a small manufacturing business!

CoJack Snack & Pack: A manufacturing company with superior quality and service

As a multi-faceted, family-owned manufacturing-food processing company based in Devils Lake, North Dakota CoJACK Snack & Pack provides customers with superior quality and service. The company is a successful wholesale bean company and a popular popcorn brand retailer.  Harnessing the latest in technologies, CoJACK has the ability to meet the needs of different companies, both big and small. Chace Engstrom-Austvold, heading Marketing-Operations at CoJack, stated, “We are in our 3rd year of operations, here in Devils Lake. Since we grow all of our products locally, we have control from the ground to the shelf. We ensure triple cleaning of our edible beans line and packaging them into 1, 2, 5, and 10-pound bags. We not only market our brand but also take orders for co-packing of private label brands. This gives our local farmers a new market to sell their crops.”

CoJack also pops, flavors, and packages the 5 flavors of their ready-to-eat popcorn brand. Chace says,” The company produces a high-quality flavor that stands out amongst the competitors. Using the best ingredients gives the popcorn a very rich and delicious taste.”

Making optimum use of advanced technologies

The company is making optimum use of advanced technologies in its operations. Chace says that robots are used during the production process, and the company has benefited immensely. “Electric robots pick up the bags or boxes of beans and stack them on the pallet. The entire line for the bean side is very automated. This way, we really do not have to do much, besides carrying out quality checks. 

CoJack also takes orders for commercial packaging.” We have the ability to custom package consumer products that can fit in 1lb, 2lb, 5lb, and 10lb bags. Any products that can be weighed in a vertical fill scale and drop through to a formed bag, with or without zipper, can be packaged in our plant,” Chace says. CoJack is in discussion with Costco, the big-box retail chain, which is looking out for a new supplier for their dry beans. 

Keeping this in mind, CoJack decided to invest in a wash line. “This is another step in the dry bean world of processing”, Chace says. It's basically triple cleaning them because the combine takes on the first part of the drying, then it goes to a polisher and conditioner where it kind of shakes off all the dirt and rocks. The wash line is an added process to ensure the removal of any mud or dust left behind over the beans - they will easily get rinsed off in this process.”

Encouraging the spirit of manufacturing: Forward Devils Lake

The community at Devils Lake encourages entrepreneurship and enterprise. With more than 3 decades in Devils Lake, companies like CoJack Snack and Pack can look to a lot of support and encouragement in their business. Executive Director of Forward Devils Lake Corporation, Brad Barth states, “Companies like CoJack help to bring new wealth into the community and create jobs and workforce retention in the area. At Forward Devils Lake, our mission is to foster and develop existing and new businesses and industries in the lake region! We look forward to many more success stories like CoJack Snack and Pack in our area!” 

If you are interested in starting a business in our area or relocating an existing business to the area, please contact us here.

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