Hazen Paper Company

Written by: Jacob Adelman and Ryan Grady

Riding on the economic boom due to Holyoke’s location near the Connecticut River and access to cheap labor, John and Robert Hazen formed Hazen Paper company in 1925. Since then, Hazen has developed into a world-class paper convertor, specializing in custom holographic orientations, film and paper laminations. Most notably, Hazen produces the National Football League’s Super Bowl program, lottery ticket foils and the National Basketball League Hall of Fame’s program cover.

Despite their success, Holyoke’s economic landscape has changed since 1925, causing problems for the Hazen brothers. “For us to survive in Holyoke in 2016 requires some black magic,” John Hazen said. “It is like a game of magical chairs and they keep pulling the chairs away”.

Most of Hazen’s difficulties stem from financial logistics. Because the bulk of their costs come from materials and labor, the company has struggled with the labor shift abroad. Hazen says he can level the playing field with good purchases to counteract the materials cost; however, there’s nothing they can do about the labor problem.

Even though the financial struggles make running the business difficult, the Hazen brothers continue to push forward and be innovative with their design out of necessity. “With the Super Bowl, Hazen Paper Company is able to create something new, different and never seen before in their effects and this is why they can keep their client(s),” John Hazen said. Hazen continued by attributing their success to their investment in holographic paper technology, which allows their artists to stay on the cutting edge of paper design.

At the end of the day, the Hazen brothers are optimistic about their business with a “may the best artist win” philosophy, which seems to have pushed them to success and will continue to do so.