At the point where history, dedication and evolution meet, you’ll find Lucas Products Corp., a small company with a big heart.
In the fall of 1956, Donald and Dorothy Applegate purchased Lucas Products Corp. and they established it as a well-known manufacturer of photoprotective eyewear and disinfectant products. History repeated itself 54 years later when beauty industry veteran, Robert Urfer, purchased the company. “After working in various companies for many years, I decided that I wanted to go into business for myself,” said Robert. “Since I’m from the Toledo, OH area, I had known about Lucas Products for many years, but wasn’t sure if Don and Dorothy wanted to sell the business. One day, I just decided to give them a call.” After a three-year negotiation process, Urfer took ownership of Lucas in October 2010.
Protective goggles have been Lucas Products’ legacy from the beginning, and it’s one that Robert plans to continue. After acquiring LPC, one of the first things he did was redesign the company’s popular Super Sunnies goggles. “Our new SUPER SUNNIES EVO style features many enhancements,” he said. “For example, we included a taller nose bridge to accommodate any facial structure, and made slimmer eye cups to minimize the ‘raccoon-eye’ phenomenon associated with tanning indoors. We also offer SUPER SUNNIES EVO in rigid and flexible models to appeal to all types of tanners.”
Today, Robert sees cleaning product manufacturing as the key to the LPC’s continued success. “During the 1980s, the company introduced LUCASOL Deodorizing / Disinfecting Cleaner for sanitizing and disinfecting eyewear and tanning beds, and it’s now an industry standard,” he said. “They followed this success in 1997 with the release of LUCASOL Hand Instant Sanitizer. Between our own line of products and the many private label brands we produce for our clients, we plan to develop and expand upon our chemical manufacturing capabilities for the salon and spa industries to fill a market niche that we’ve identified.” The company’s first goal is to develop a line of EPA-approved, earth-friendly cleaning products – Lucas Salon and Spa Cleaning – with plans for a fall launch.
While many companies have lost sight of what it means to be “Made in USA”, Lucas is a proud and patriotic product maker. Whether it’s eye protection or the expanding line of salon / spa cleaning formulations, everything from LPC is produced at the company’s 17,000 square-foot manufacturing facility. “We’re proud to say that we’re the only eye protection manufacturer whose products are made in America!” Robert exclaimed. “We have three liquid-filling lines, three injection-molding lines and a research and development lab. Plus, we’re extremely proud of our dedicated staff – Anne Alfaro, Melissa Keehn-Piepsney, Jim Raber, Jenny Venia and everyone else – who have more than 60 combined years at Lucas Products!”
A 14-year industry veteran, John "Ribby" Ribner has written hundreds of
articles for IST Magazine and, as Director of Editorial Content, has also
helped guide the publication's evolution. Ribby is a graduate of Central
Michigan University's journalism program and has brought many years of newspaper reporting experience to his position of Head Writer. He is also the author of three novels, "Legacy of the Bear," "Prophecy of the Bear" and "World So Dark."
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