L ong before companies began implementing environmentally-friendly policies and products, Mr. Harry Zussman built a business from scratch by recycling used burlap bags from farmers, ranchers, and the grain and feed industry in Colorado.

Harry began Central Bag & Burlap Co. (CBBC) in what is today LoDo on Market Street in Denver in 1914. He would clean, patch, sort, bale and resell the bags, while creating a reputation as an honest, reliable and hard-working businessman. As the company grew, he was able to hire employees. Deliveries were made by horse drawn wagons, and the company’s equipment was limited to sewing machines, a vacuum bag cleaner, a printing press, a mechanical baler, and the strong backs and arms of the CBBC employees. Now, 100 years later, CBBC distributes more than 10,000 products to multiple industries, has 15 employees and a fleet of vehicles.

Building at 19th and Blake, circa 1950

Building at 19th and Blake, circa 1950

Ben Zussman joined his father’s business in 1932 when CBBC relocated to a larger facility on 19th and Blake St. Expansion continued into new markets, including importation of jute fabric, multiwall paper bags, furniture pads and broader lines of packaging materials. Ben carried on his father’s reputation as being an honest and reliable businessman.

Company truck parked in the lot at 27th and Blake, circa 1970.

Company truck parked in the lot at 27th and Blake, circa 1970. Pictured are Ida Zussman Reiss, CBBC’s first bookkeeper, and her husband Morris Reiss, a CBBC employee.

A second relocation occurred in 1959 when the growing company built an 11,000 square-foot facility at 27th and Blake St. With hard work, dedication and an unwavering commitment to both its suppliers’ and customers’ satisfaction, CBBC continued to grow with third generation members of the Zussman family joining the business in the 1970s.

Mr. Harry Zussman, Founder of CBBC

Mr. Harry Zussman, Founder of CBBC

Mr. Ben Zussman

Mr. Ben Zussman

With a fourth generation joining the ranks, CBBC is still growing and expanding while eagerly adapting to its customers’ constantly changing needs and expectations. Currently the company occupies a significantly larger facility in north Denver, with thousands of ready-to-ship merchandise items. At CBBC, ecology, recycling and efficient use of resources is not a trend; it is the core of the company’s roots. Paperush Harry Zussman would be proud to see that his ideals still guide the company’s philosophy and mission.

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