We were GREEN long before it was cool.

B. Stephen Cooperage Inc.is a company with strong values, which are rooted by its family history and commitment to the industry.

Our story began in the late 1800’s in western Russia on a shtetl, which is a small village where mostly working class Jewish people lived. Nathan Stephen worked on the shtetl as a Cooper. He picked up used empty wooden barrels, cleaned, fixed, and eventually resold them. Nathan married and had two children. Then, in 1909, facing increasing persecution from the pogroms, Nathan moved his family and eventually settled in Cleveland, Ohio. In Cleveland, Nathan followed the American Dream and did what he knew best by founding his own cooperage.

Cooperage [koo-per-ij] noun:

  1. The work or business of a cooper.

  2. A place where barrels or casks are made

From Generation To Generation

In 1918, Ben Stephen was born. Ben grew up working for his father at the cooperage, until he was drafted in the Second World War. After finishing his service, Ben returned to Cleveland and saw that both the oil drilling and barrel market had dried up. So he decided to head west and form his own company in Los Angeles, California. Times and technology had changed from when Ben was younger, so instead of dealing with wooden barrels, he dealt with steel drums. But the business remained the same, picking up the containers, cleaning them and then reselling them.

In 1949, Ben moved the company from Los Angeles to our current location in Ontario, California. He continued to grow the company and taught the business to his son Mike, much like his father had taught him before. Ben always stressed the importance of treating people ethically and honoring commitments made. His success and the success of the company to this day are predicated on these beliefs.

The Legacy Continues

In 1975, Mike came on to work full time for the company. Mike recognized the need for a more efficient way of shipping the drums and began purchasing semi trucks and trailers. He also adjusted to both customer’s needs and changes in technology by beginning to carry plastic drums, pails and intermediate bulk containers. Through these changes, the company was able to increase its volume greatly and begin to take on larger corporate clientele.

In 1991, B. Stephen Cooperage joined the Reusable Industrial Packaging Association. Through RIPA, the company was able to increase its exposure beyond California to all of North America. More importantly, after twenty years of membership, RIPA has given us true friends all over North America.

Ben passed away in 2006, but the company maintains his namesake and remains family owned and operated. B. Stephen Cooperage continues to thrive because of the foundation and culture Ben instilled in the company. The company focuses on ensuring the needs of it’s customers are met and continuously invests in the future.

Our Values

  • Customer Service—We provide extraordinary service to our customers at all times.
  • Challenger— We challenge the norms and get involved in customer processes to ensure that they are receiving the best possible service and/or products from us.
  • Open Book – We are eager to teach and share what we know with others.
  • Growth and Possibilities—We have a willingness to create the future.
  • Customers—Our customers define us. Our commitment is to develop and maintain mutually beneficial partnerships with our customers. We will treat our customers with respect and integrity and can be counted on to keep our word.