Uncle Bunk’s is a specialty food company owned and operated by Larry Young, his wife Rose Marie, and their daughter Stacey Young Kasun. Located in Sistersville, West Virginia, Uncle Bunk’s manufactures, sells, and distributes gourmet products including pepper sauces, mustard relishes, and sweet pickles based on old-time Appalachian recipes. The company goes beyond these products to offer a variety of spices for various cooking recipes.
Uncle Bunk’s had operated as a true cottage industry since their inception, but when the company developed partnerships that would result in significant growth over the coming years, expanding market penetration and increasing wholesale/distributor business, Uncle Bunk’s needed to move to a more fitting facility, one able to accommodate the needs and production levels of the anticipated growth. After searching for a building, Uncle Bunk’s determined that it would be best to build a new facility tailored to their needs. Stacey Kasun contacted the WVMEP, a representative of the MEP National Network, to assist with developing layouts for this new facility based on past experiences and WVMEP's understanding of the Uncle Bunk's business model.
The WVMEP’s ability to combine lean manufacturing principles with their knowledge of our business and the constraints we operate within proved to be invaluable. They were able to provide Uncle Bunk’s with a layout that met all our needs and expectations, in the smallest footprint possible, but with considerations that would allow for expansion without disrupting production when that time comes. I could not be more pleased with the result and look forward to working with the team at WVMEP as we continue to grow Uncle Bunk’s.
WVMEP staff met with the team at Uncle Bunk’s to learn more about the anticipated growth and what that would mean in terms of required production, warehouse, and administrative space. This meeting also included a tour of the proposed site where the building would be located to understand how it would need to fit into the overall site. Once this meeting concluded, the WVMEP began work on developing layout options that would not only meet the needs of Uncle Bunk’s, but also fit the proposed site. During the development process, the WVMEP took into consideration how areas could share resources to produce more with less, and how to implement principles of lean manufacturing that would not only allow Uncle Bunk’s to grow in this new space, but also to operate as efficiently as possible so they could remain competitive in both new and existing markets. Additionally, the WVMEP considered how potential future expansions of this facility would come to life and made accommodations that allowed for expansion without interrupting production. Once complete, the WVMEP met with Uncle Bunk’s to review the layouts developed and discuss how production would flow through the new facility. After some minor tweaking, Uncle Bunk’s had a layout drawing that could be used to begin the bidding process for their new facility.