Topper Linen – Canadian Phoenix Rising!

Posted April 21, 2017 at 12:18 pm

Sending a Message: Topper Linen's entire staff posed for this photo outside the company's fire-damaged plant. Many of the participants are holding signs that read; "We will Soldier on and Rebuild!"

A recent five-alarm fire threatened the survival of Topper Linen and Uniform Rental Services, a Toronto independent specializing in table linens and chef wear.

But the spirit of entrepreneurship of this “proudly Canadian” operator is made of sterner stuff. Tim Topornicki, president and CEO of Topper, recently told Textile Services Weekly that reconstruction of his damaged plant is well underway and moving forward briskly. Meanwhile, Topper Linen hasn’t missed a beat.

“We are doing well – have not lost one customer – and are planning to tear down two buildings and rebuild one,” Topornicki said of the business founded in 1956 by his father Ed Topornicki.

Beyond restoring full production, Topornicki is focusing on improving his company’s processes by redesigning the flow of goods through the facility, from soil sort to packout. “This will allow soil production and mat rolling to be much more efficient,” he said.

Naturally, the timing of Topper Linen’s rebuilding effort is critical, if the company is to make good on its come-back effort. Topornicki says his goal is to have rebuilt a significant portion of the plant before cold weather arrives this fall. “We must have this building enclosed before Dec. 1 so we can work on the inside over the winter if need be,” he said. While no one was injured in the Feb. 11 fire, Topper Linen’s fire-damaged building is a total loss. “The old building is scheduled to be torn down very soon, and then the new construction will start,” he said.

As the work continues, Topornicki is sharpening his pencil and weighing options for what kinds of new equipment he’ll need to replace various systems and machinery damaged by the fire. “I plan on being at Clean and spending some money on new stuff,” he said, referring to the biennial Clean Show, slated for June 5-8 in Las Vegas.

And while rebuilding after a disastrous fire like the one Topper Linen experienced is difficult, Topornicki says he and his team are determined to continue. “I will never surrender, and plan on soldiering on,” he said. “I love a challenge, since it motivates me to get better and stronger. See you at Clean!”