Champions of Change

Rick L. McKeel

Rick L. McKeel, President/CEO, New Carbon Company, Inc.

New Carbon Company, Inc. started as a family-owned business, selling Golden Malted Pancake and Waffle Flour to the food service industry, until the Carbon family decided in 1998 to sell the business and it was bought by four of its largest distributors.  The company’s Golden Malted brand products are sold to restaurants, diners, hotels, theme parks, and colleges and universities around the world.  The company also makes commercial waffle bakers, which customers get free in exchange for exclusive use of Golden Malted products. 

By 2001, Rick McKeel had become CEO, and had to develop a business response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which had a major impact on product orders from restaurants and hotels and other travel-related businesses.  Faced with a major restructuring of its business plan, Rick sought help from North Central Indiana’s Small Business Development Center. 

Rick points to the face to face interaction with customers on a regular basis as one of the keys to the company’s success.  Since 2002, Rick has helped the business increase its sales from $12 million to $34 million annually.  From 2004 to 2010, it grew from 31 to 76 employees.  Golden Malted brand products are sold in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and 16 foreign countries.

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