In 1905, Carl Raschick and Frank Minea founded NCCO (NCCO) in St. Paul, Minnesota, as printers of coupon books, widely used as cash equivalents at that time. Customers included schools, cafés, gasoline stations, dairies and railroads. The company was formally incorporated in 1909.
By 1930, the United States was fast becoming a mobile society, with 26 million cars on the road. The U.S. became saturated, almost overnight, with new kinds of eateries – diners, cafeterias, soda shops, luncheonettes, Automats, barbecue stands, drive-ins, refreshment stands, ice cream parlors, and new ‘chain’ restaurants that blossomed during the 1920s and 1930s.
In 1938, Frank Minea reported to NCCO’s board of directors that the tabulating card business was a growth opportunity and the company capitalized on this growth. By the late 1960s technology shifted to magnetic tape and computer chips, making the tab card obsolete. As the tab card declined, the stock restaurant check business took off as demographic shifts made dining away from home more popular than ever.
The 1960s brought huge changes for the company. During this decade, NCCO unionized, adopted a policy of compliance with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, established an employee profit sharing plan and revamped its restaurant check sales and marketing strategy. At that time Ben Olk became the National Sales Manager, and eventually President, and began developing the infrastructure to support the emerging food service distribution channel. During the 1970s, baby boomers – many of them women – entered the work force in huge numbers. More people in the workforce meant more people eating away from home, more takeout meals for busy parents too tired to cook, and more disposable income for eating out on weekends.
By 1980, NCCO had established a stable of warehouses allowing quick turnaround, regional sales, and prompt delivery. At the same time additional regional sales reps were hired to develop relationships with distributors and brokers across the country.
In 1998 NCCO moved its headquarters into a new manufacturing facility in St. Paul. In 2004 the company expanded globally into the European market.
In addition to NCCO’s iconic green pad, the company has expanded its product offering to include register rolls, register ribbons and food safety products, along with constantly exploring additional product opportunities.