Throwback Thursday – Pan Oston

A Bowling Green manufacturing business celebrated 50 years of production in 2018. This week we’re on Louisville Road at the headquarters of Pan Oston, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of checkout lanes, everyday use retail store items and special fixtures.

The original company headquarters opened in 1968 in Finland. A manufacturer named Seppo Halttunen opened a metal fabricating company, calling it Halton. The business produced checkout lanes for retail stores and demand for production grew from Europe to the Americas.

Halton’s popularity expanded with a North American manufacturing facility. Calling it Oston, Ltd., this Canadian facility was the namesake for the company’s current name. Production needs were moving farther south and Oston, Ltd. moved to a new southern Kentucky location. By the year 2000, Pan Oston had migrated to Glasgow in Barren County.

Then in 2003, Houchens Industries acquired Pan Oston, welcoming it into the fold of the largest ESOP company in the United States. Houchens relocated Pan Oston to its current location in Bowling Green.

The 200-thousand square-foot facility houses the brand new corporate headquarters and independent warehouse. The company hit a huge milestone by filling its one-millionth order in 2017.

Pan Oston recently announced its latest expansion in Bowling Green, a $3 million dollar investment with the addition of another building and creation of 30 more jobs. In the past three years alone, Pan Oston has invested over $8 million dollars in South Central Kentucky’s economy.