Tacony Recognized As Manufacturer of the Week

May 3, 2012

ST. JAMES, MO—Out of more than 7,000 Missouri manufacturers, Tacony Corporation was recognized as the Make it in America Manufacturer of the Week on May 3, 2012. 

“We’re honored to be a Make it in America Manufacturer of the Week. We couldn’t be more proud of our associates who put everything they have into building world-class vacuums each day,” Joy Petty, Director of Marketing for Tacony Corporation’s Home Floor Care Division, said.

The Manufacturer of the Week initiative was launched in late 2011 by the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP).

“The primary goal of the Make it in America initiative is to educate MEP stakeholders, partners and the general public on the companies that create jobs and grow the U.S. Economy... American manufacturers,” Jaclyn Gardner, MEP Communications Manager, said. “The program is putting a ‘face and name’ to the industry that is so often talked about as the key to American growth. We are also leveraging this initiative to educate Americans on the outstanding work of the MEP system and the clients they serve.” 

“Missouri Enterprise is a not for profit organization that operates the MEP program in Missouri,” Harold Zinn, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications at Missouri Enterprise, said. “We have worked with Tacony for more than 10 years in areas such as product development, product design, and continuous improvement.”

Designation as the Manufacturer of the Week is a great honor, since there will be only 52 selected across the entire country each year.

“First, the manufacturer must make a product in the United States,” Zinn said. “The other criteria are a bit more subjective. We like to choose companies that have been expanding and make good examples of how to do it right.”

In 1997, Tacony Corporation brought production of many Riccar and Simplicity vacuum cleaners from Taiwan to St. James, Missouri. At the time, Tacony had five employees at the factory; today, over 150 people are dedicated to the production of these quality vacuum cleaners.  “I think Tacony is committed to a culture that promotes growth and innovation,” Zinn said. “It is a company that always looks for new and better ways to do things.”

About Missouri Enterprise:
Missouri Enterprise is an organization that helps small- and medium-size manufacturers transform themselves to realize profitable growth today and prepare for success in the next generation and beyond. Its services fall into five major categories: Continuous Improvement, Business Growth, Supplier Development, Workforce and Sustainability. 

Missouri Enterprise delivers a unique combination of “hands‐on implementation” assistance and coaching and mentoring that turns good ideas into bottom‐line profits. The organization works side‐by‐side with clients to create innovative new processes and products and the corporate culture that will become a hallmark of their long term operational success.

Missouri Enterprise is part of the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the nation’s largest consulting organization focused on small- and medium-size manufacturers and Missouri’s only program that provides direct assistance to manufacturing. 

About Tacony Manufacturing:
Tacony Manufacturing, located in St. James, Missouri, is the manufacturing facility for all Simplicity and Riccar upright vacuum cleaners and premier canister vacuums. The factory opened in 1997 when Tacony Corporation moved production from Taiwan to the United States. Within the first decade of US production, the one millionth vacuum rolled off the line.  Tacony Manufacturing is a vertically integrated operation. Component pieces are injected molded on one of the seven presses, then many components receive an automotive-quality paint finish in the paint department before being brought out to the production lines for assembly. In addition to building Simplicity and Riccar vacuums, Tacony Manufacturing also serves as the production facility for some Fuller Brush brand vacuum cleaners as well as some CleanMax commercial grade vacuum cleaners. 

Tacony Celebrates 65 Years

January 1, 2011

This year, Tacony Corporation is proud to celebrate its 65th Anniversary.  Tacony has spent decades offering independent retailers popular brands such as Baby Lock sewing machines, Riccar and Simplicity vacuums and Koala Studios. Tacony knows that its success is dependant on the success of its customers and has maintained the culture of customer service introduced by its founder. 

In 1946, after returning from the War, Nick started a small business selling and servicing sewing machines from the basement of his home. He invested his savings in used machines, motors and parts, and worked diligently in an industry that had been ignored during the country’s industrial support for the War. Over the next two decades, his business grew to become a Tacony distribution network supporting independent retailers throughout the U.S. 

Nick’s success was in large part due to his development of a family rapport with customers. He made sure that every employee and customer felt like they were a part of his family.

In 1970, Ken Tacony joined his father in the business. When Nick Tacony passed away in 1984, Ken assumed the leadership of Tacony Corporation. Under Ken’s guidance, Tacony has grown far beyond being a large distributor of sewing machine parts. Today, Tacony Corporation imports, distributes, and manufactures a full range of products for independent retailers to market to homes and businesses. Tacony has become a truly diversified worldwide consumer products company with over 645 dedicated associates maintaining twelve offices and showrooms. Ken Tacony’s three children, Kristin Tacony Humes, Kennon Tacony and Korbin Tacony, also play significant roles in the Company. In each of their roles, the Tacony family emphasizes the importance of setting Tacony Corporation apart from the competition by providing exceptional customer service to the independent retailer. 

In the past decade, Tacony has experienced incredible growth with the acquisition of several brands, including Koala Studios custom-built furniture, the Tornado, CleanMax and Truvox floor care brands, and Mac Molding injection molding. Tacony has also opened the first Vacuum Cleaner Museum with one of the most rare and extensive collections in the world. This collection is a valuable resource for the product development team. 

Existing brands have also experienced vast growth. Thanks to an impressive selection of innovative machines, Baby Lock is now proud to count famed “sewlebrities” such as Nancy Zieman, Eleanor Burns, Martha Pullen and Kay M. Capps Cross among their spokespersons. These popular women participate in events around the country, promoting Baby Lock and, as a result, participating retailers’ stores. Baby Lock is also the underwriter of the popular programs Sewing with Nancy, Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting and Quilt in a Day, giving a national presence to further drive traffic to independent retailer locations. 

1997, Ken Tacony made the landmark decision to move the production of Riccar and Simplicity upright vacuum cleaners from Taiwan to St. James, Missouri. Since the initial move, the Tacony Manufacturing facility has expanded four times and has created over 150 jobs, making it one of the largest employers in St. James. Today, the 190,000 sq. ft. facility is home to state-of-the-art equipment for high tech painting, injection molding, solid modeling design, prototyping and detailed testing using ASTM standards. This facility is also home to the Vacuum Cleaner Museum.

Tacony’s manufacturing (and the amount of jobs) continues to grow each year. In the past 2 years, Tacony has begun manufacturing Simplicity and Riccar premier canisters and heaters in St. James. Tacony also owns three other manufacturing facilities. Koala Studios are custom-built in Chicago, Illinois; Truvox products are manufactured in Southampton, England; and Tornado and Powr-Flite products are manufactured at the Fort Worth, Texas facility. Today, retailers of Tacony products can proudly tell customers that many products are made in the USA.

Tacony’s sense of innovation has stretched beyond the products it sells and manufactures to the products it actually develops. For 15 years, Tacony’s Research and Development Team has developed product concepts from the original idea to production. Tacony’s engineers create the design and mechanical tooling, as well as develop their own testing equipment for research and quality control. 

Tacony’s team of 12 engineers confidently competes with larger companies by creating exclusive, sought-after features that give retailers a clear advantage in today’s market. To date, the Research and Development Team has developed several dozen patents, including upright and canister vacuum technology like the revolutionary Tandem Air motor system. Tacony’s engineering staff works primarily at the headquarters in Fenton, Missouri, with additional engineers at the St. James, Fort Worth, Southampton and Suzhou facilities. 

The Research and Development Team works closely alongside the Manufacturing, Technical, and Marketing Teams. Together, they can identify potential problems, react to new industry trends and perfect products before they are mass-produced. In doing so, Tacony has the rare gift of bringing products to retailers with speed and the ability to quickly react to market fluctuations.

Tacony Corporation also maintains an “open door policy” that allows every employee, no matter what position, to feel comfortable sharing concerns and ideas with anyone in management or directly with Ken himself. Ken and the rest of the leaders of Tacony remain as accessible as possible to employees, retailers, and consumers. This extra effort and care has lead to a corporate culture that truly embodies Tacony’s corporate motto: Tradition. Trust. Teamwork.

In every step of the way, Ken Tacony has incorporated a sense of family into the corporation built by his father. One of the most significant corporate goals of Tacony Corporation’s mission statement is to “build long-lasting relationships that are based on trust and feel like family.” Tacony’s primary objective is to ensure that the retailer will always be served with quality products, prompt delivery and the best customer service in the industry. Ken Tacony understands that Tacony’s success is based on the success of its retailers, making independent retailers the #1 priority of Tacony Corporation. 

Vacuum Cleaner Museum Opens

August 17, 2009

ST. JAMES, MO — Historic Route 66 is the perfect location for its newest roadside attraction — a vacuum cleaner museum. This Mother Road is known for entertaining and educational venues and the new museum will deliver both in great fashion. The Vacuum Cleaner Museum will celebrate its grand opening on Thursday, August 27th with a ribbon cutting ceremony and ice cream social. The celebration begins at 1:30 pm. The museum is located at Tacony Manufacturing, home of Riccar and Simplicity vacuum production. 

This extensive collection includes 500 vacuums spanning a century of progress. The museum displays vacuums from the 1910’s to modern times in decade-themed vignettes complete with period furniture and memorabilia from that era. Visitors will discover a glimpse of Americana through the evolution of the vacuum and accompanying newspaper and magazine advertising displayed in each decade. 

Tom Gasko, Museum Curator and National Authority on Vacuums, donated his collection to museum, which includes many from Stan Kann, legendary organist for the Fox Theater, St. Louis, MO. A collector since childhood, Gasko’s passion has allowed the former Festus vacuum retailer to appear in USA Today, the HBO’s documentary This Is America, and other national media. He has also served as president of the National Vacuum Cleaners Club. 

“Tom is perfect at blending entertainment with education”, says Joy Petty, Director of Marketing for Tacony Corporation’s Floor Care division. “He has such an extensive knowledge of about how the vacuum cleaner has evolved, and how each was directly related to changes in America. You have no idea how exciting vacuums can be until you visit Tom at the museum”. 

There are also a few “celebrity” vacuums on display including the official vacuum cleaner of Air Force One and the childhood vacuum of Emmy nominated actor, James Earl Jones. 

The Vacuum Cleaner Museum and factory outlet are open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with free admission. The museum is located just off of Hwy. 44 at exit 195, at #3 Industrial Drive, St. James, MO. For more information, visit www.vacuummuseum.com.

Tacony Corporation brought production of Simplicity and Riccar upright vacuums to the United States in 1997. At the time Tacony Manufacturing opened its doors, the entire vacuum factory consisted of only five employees. Almost a decade later, in 2006, the 120 employees of Tacony Manufacturing proudly watched as the first 1 millionth vacuum rolled off the production line. 

Headquartered in St. Louis and found in 1946 by Nick Tacony, Tacony Corp. is a privately held manufacturing and distribution company operating in four strategic business units: household vacuum cleaners, commercial floor care products, home sewing products and ceiling fans. With more than 650 associates in 12 offices around the world, Tacony’s mission is to create long-lasting relationships that are based on trust and feel like family. For more information, visit http://www.tacony.com. 

Editor’s Notes: Electronic copy of this press release plus relating images can be found on http://madeintheusavacuums.com/media-kit 

Tacony Corporation Acquires Sewing Center Supply Company, Inc.

September 30, 2008

ST. LOUIS, MO -  Tacony Corporation of St. Louis, Missouri and SCS, Sewing Center Supply Co., Inc. of Portland, Oregon have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding for Tacony to acquire the assets of SCS on September 30, 2008. 


Under the agreement, Tacony will become the exclusive importer in North America and direct all the distribution of the varied SCS brands and products, including Madeira Thread, Klasse needles, Hemline luggage and notions, and Suzy’s bags and baskets. Tacony will also control and direct the design, manufacturing and worldwide distribution of the premier line of Koala Sewing and Craft furniture and studios.


Tacony and SCS are working together towards meeting the exceptionally large demand for American manufactured Koala cabinets and are in the process of expanding manufacturing for the Koala cabinet line. 


For years, Tacony and SCS have served the sewing industry by bringing new and innovative products to market. Customers should expect a seamless transition of operations between SCS and Tacony. As part of this acquisition, the Portland facility will be closed and the inventory will be moved to Tacony’s facilities in Fenton, Missouri, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin and Fullerton, California. Tacony will continue to provide fast and cost effective shipping with its coast-to-coast distribution network.


Ed Moore, Chief Executive Offices of SCS, will join Tacony Corporation and relocate to the St. Louis, Missouri are in the immediate future. "It is an exciting time and opportunity for those that have supported SCS. We have always been committed to providing our customers with products and ideas to help their businesses grow," said Moore. "The Tacony family and their commitment to excellence in serving their customer and associates will improve the ideas and services that SCS has provided. I am excited to join this team and to continue to partner with you in the future as a Tacony associate. 


Included in this acquisition are the Sewing and Crafting web site. Hundreds of sponsoring dealers from all over the country have joined this innovative site. Through education and demonstration of thousands of products, the Club has rewarded participating dealers with positive revenue both in store and on line.


“I’m pleased to have Ed Moore join the Tacony family,” said Ken Tacony. “His years of experience in the sewing industry will be an asset to our company and we welcome all of the SCS customers.” 


Check out the full press release here.


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Tacony Corporation Acquires Mac Molding Company, Inc.

September 25, 2008

St. Louis, MO — Ken Tacony, CEO, announced today that Tacony Corporation 
has acquired the assets of Mac Molding Company and that Lance Loeffelman, 
the owner of Mac Molding Company, Inc., has signed a long-term employment 
agreement to continue running Mac Molding’s operations. “We have used many 
injection molding companies over the years, but none has been better able to 
consistently deliver the high-quality, highly-finished parts required for our 
vacuums than Mac Molding. We are very excited to have Lance and his staff join 
our Company”, Tacony said. 

Mac Molding was founded in 1972 by Robert McDorman who sold the company 
to the Loeffelman’s in 1997. Located in Sunset Hills, Mac Molding has 24 
employees, with over half having at least 30 years of service. 
For over eight years, Mac Molding has been molding parts for Tacony’s vacuum 
cleaner plant in St. James, Missouri. In recent years, Tacony has accounted for 
the majority of Mac Molding’s business. Earlier this year, Tacony completed a 
substantial expansion of its St. James facility with the intention of eventually 
bringing its injection molding requirements “in house”. “This presented an 
opportunity to grow Mac Molding’s capacity to be able to keep up with the growth 
of Tacony’s business and to continue to service our other customers and to seek 
new ones”, Loeffelman said. 

In addition to Tacony, Mac Molding’s customers include companies in the 
electronics and consumer products industries. “We are proud of our long-term 
relationships with our customers and look forward to continuing to serve them. 
As the St. James operations grow, we will be able to handle more new business 
in Sunset Hills”, Loeffelman said. 


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Tacony Corporation Expands Tandem Air Technology With Eight New Vacuums

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Tacony Corporation Celebrates Six Decades

January 1, 2006

Tacony Corporation Celebrates Six Decades
A Family Tradition for Sixty Years...

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Tacony Recognized for Quality Standards by the International Organization for Standardization

ST. LOUIS ― Tacony Corporation, the manufacturer of Riccar and Simplicity 
vacuum cleaners, recently received 9001:2000 approval from the International 
Organization for Standardization 
(ISO) to become officially registered. 

To receive ISO 9001:2000 approval, Tacony had to meet 20 sets of quality 
systems requirements. This quality assurance model applies to organizations 
that design, develop, produce, install and service products. 

“For a manufacturing facility, receiving ISO registration is the equivalent of 
passing the bar exam,” said Ken Tacony, president and chief executive officer at 
Tacony. “It took every person in the Tacony manufacturing organization to 
ensure compliance. We are very proud of our staff and equally as proud to now 
carry the ISO certification.” 

Complimenting Tacony on the completeness of its quality management system, 
the ISO audit team’s final report concluded that the company’s system is 
effective while pointing to several Tacony strengths including: 

  • An exceptionally cohesive and well understood quality management 
  • system. 
  • Employees who are very competent in their assigned job skills. 
  • A leadership and management commitment which is very evident at all 
  • levels. 


“The adoption of this quality management system was a strategic decision by 
Tacony and will enable us to better control cost, product quality and drive our 
continuous improvement processes,” said Tacony. “The strengths listed in the 
ISO report are a direct result of all the hard work everyone put into becoming 
successfully compliant with the ISO standard.” 

A non-governmental organization, the ISO helps both product and service 
oriented organizations achieve standards of quality that are recognized and 
respected throughout the world.


The ISO audit was conducted at Tacony’s facility in St. James, Mo., where the 
company manufactures its two lines of vacuum cleaners: Riccar and Simplicity. 
Tacony also distributes and develops a variety of other consumer products, 
including sewing machines and software, ceiling fans, floor care parts and 
equipment, commercial carpet care equipment, and commercial floor care 
equipment. Tacony has six distribution centers nationwide, including St. James, 
Mo.; St. Louis; Fullerton, Calif.; Carlstadt, N.J.; Fort Worth, Texas; and 
Jacksonville, Fla. For more information, visit www.tacony.com.

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Tacony Corporation Receives the Missouri Impact Award

January 2, 2004

St. James, MO - Congresswoman JoAnn Emerson today presented the 2002 Missouri Impact Award to Ken Tacony, President of Tacony Corporation of Fenton, Missouri. The award is sponsored by Missouri Enterprise, a nonprofit corporation dedicated to helping Missouri businesses succeed, and recognized Tacony for its excellence in continuous improvement of manufacturing in the state of Missouri.

Ken accepted the award on behalf of his family and every associate at Tacony Corporation, especially those at Tacony Manufacturing in St. James. He recognized former Mayor Nelson Hart, Mayor Jim Morrison, Bill Marshall and David Connell from Phelps County Bank and Russ Lindenlaub of Missouri Enterprise for helping Tacony become a part of the St. James community. He also thanked Congresswoman Emerson and all others who helped Tacony in many technical and economic ways to be able to move their manufacturing operations from Taiwan to Missouri in 1997.

Ken Tacony stated, "Most of all, my very special thanks to all Tacony associates who participated over the past five years and have worked so hard bringing our dream to reality. Our decision to build world-class vacuum cleaner products in the United States for our Riccar, Simplicity and Powr-Flite customers was the right one. Thank you very much for this very special honor."


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Tacony Captures 2003 Missouri Industry of the Year Award

January 9, 2003

ST. LOUIS ― Tacony Corporation, a leading distributor and manufacturer of sewing 
machines and vacuum cleaners, recently won the 2003 Missouri Industry of the Year 
Award in the small company classification. 

“We are pleased and honored to win this prestigious award,” said Ken Tacony, 
president and chief executive officer at Tacony, whose company received the award at 
the state capitol building in Jefferson City, Mo. “The 2003 Missouri Industry of the Year 
Award is really a tribute to our customer-focused employees, their dedication of 
excellence and their tremendous community spirit. This is a great honor for the whole 
Tacony team.” 

Sponsored by the Associated Industries of Missouri (AIM) and the Mid-Missouri 
Business Journal, the annual award recognizes the best and brightest Missouri 
companies that have become leaders in making the state a better place to live and 
work. AIM is a business and industry association that serves nearly 1,500 state 

In addition to capturing the 2003 Missouri Industry of the Year Award, Tacony also 
received the Missouri Impact Award for continuous improvement in manufacturing 
excellence from the Missouri Enterprise Business Assistance Center. In 2000, Tacony 
opened a new facility in St. James, Mo., where the company manufacturers its two 
lines of vacuum cleaners: Simplicity and Riccar. 

Tacony also manufacturers and develops a variety of other consumer products, 
including sewing machines and software, ceiling fans, floor care parts and equipment, 
commercial carpet care equipment, and commercial floor care equipment. 
Headquartered in St. Louis, Tacony has six distribution centers nationwide, including 
St. James, Mo.; St. Louis, Mo.; Fullerton, Calif.; Carlstadt, N.J.; Fort Worth, Texas; and 
Jacksonville, Fla. 

Tacony has been involved in numerous community programs, including the Boys and 
Girls Town of Missouri, the Nelson Hart Community Center, Missouri National Guard, 
Head Start, the American Red Cross, the St. James Kiwanis Club and Guardian Angels. 
The company also started the Great American Sweeper Swap, a national vacuum 
trade-in program sponsored by Riccar Vacuums and benefiting Habitat for Humanity 
International. The program focuses on refurbishing used vacuum cleaners to give to 
Habitat homeowners. 

Other companies winning awards included SSM Health Care (large classification) in St. 
Louis and Hollister, Inc. (medium classification) in Kirksville, Mo. 


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Tacony Corporation Receives Governor's Small Business of the Year Award

May 18, 1999

ST. LOUIS, MO; May 18,1999 - This year's Economic Development Conference recognizes Missouri's "Most Valuable Players" with nine awards in various categories honoring individuals or organizations that positively changed the face of Missouri's economy. Tacony Corporation is the recipient of the 1999 Governor's Small Business of the Year Award. The award was presented on Tuesday, May 18th at the Governor's Economic Development Conference at the Lake of the Ozarks.

Some of the qualifications for The Small Business of the Year Award include, businesses that have experienced significant growth, improved internal processes.and/or developed a business plan or marketing plan to improve its business. Tacony Corporation met this criteria by bringing jobs to Missouri, economic growth to the community and job skills to individuals.

Tacony Corporation, a privately held company that employs 170 people locally and 330 people nationally, is an international importer, distributor and manufacturer of household and industrial sewing machines, vacuum cleaners and ceiling fans. Currently, the company distributes sewing machines in North America under the

Baby Lock, Elna, Simplicity, Riccar and Tacsew brands. They also distribute vacuum cleaners branded Riccar and Simplicity and manufacture the Powr-Flite line of janitorial equipment. Regency ceiling fans are also product brands of Tacony Corporation. In 1998, Tacony and Zeng Hsing Industrial Co. LTD, opened a new joint venture known as USA Vacuum Industries. In an innovative move, Tacony relocated their vacuum cleaner production from Taiwan to St. James, Missouri. The decision was especially timely for St. James, which had suffered the closure of another manufacturing plant.

"We are very pleased to bring jobs to Missouri," said Bill Hinderer, Executive Vice-President of Tacony Corporation. "We appreciate the assistance of MAMTC and the State of Missouri in helping us create new jobs."

"Tacony Corporation has generated over 60 new jobs in the St. James area," said Tom White, Regional Director of MAMTC-Missouri's St. Louis office (Mid-America Manufacturing Technology Center). "The company has also developed a new line of lower cost, high-value vacuums designed to complement their existing line of high-end residential and institutional models. All of these models are now made in St. James." (more) Small Business Award pg 2

"Our office assisted Tacony with site selection and product design," White said, "Now, we are especially pleased that Tacony is receiving this well-deserved recognition from the Governor and the Department of Economic Development."

"Tacony Corporation displayed impressive vision and determination with the decision to bring production of their vacuum cleaners to the United States," said Russ Lindenlaub, Director of the MAMTC-Missouri Rolla Center.

"We are currently helping USA Vacuum Industries to increase their production capacity by implementing 'lean manufacturing' techniques," Lindenlaub said. "This effort results in increased productivity, efficiency, and quality."

U.S. Secretary of Commerce William Daley proclaimed 1999 as "The Year of the Small Manufacturer" in recognition of the vital impact of small manufacturers on our nation's economy. "Small manufacturers are critical to the competitiveness of the entire manufacturing sector and are vital to the U.S. economy," Daley said.


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