Blandin Paper Mill was purchased by UPM-Kymmene in October of 1997, making it the first North American mill for UPM-Kymmene. Blandin was founded in 1901 in Grand Rapids, Minnesota and employs about 500 people. Making it one of northern Minnesota’s largest employers, with approximately 2,000 more jobs being indirectly attributable to the company’s local operations.
Blandin’s annual paper making capacity is about 380,000 short tons, all paper manufactured by Blandin on their two paper machines is lightweight coated (LWC). Named for its clay-based, glossy coating that makes it ideal as a publication paper.
Blandin currently owns and manages 194,000 acres of Forest land. Blandin Paper Mill is well known for its strong record on quality management, forestry, safety and environmental fronts. In 1999, Blandin earned Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certification in acknowledgement of progressive environmental practices on its forest lands.
Beginning the first Wednesday in June through the Friday before Labor Day, free guided tours of the mill are offered. From 10 am to 3 pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays, & Fridays tour guides escort groups of up to 10 people through the mill and for a viewing of a video of the papermaking process.
Blandin’s does ask the following from their tour guests:
- No children under the age of 12
- No open-toed shoes
- No cameras
- Also, please keep in mind that the ability to climb stairs is required and that the mill is very warm so appropriate attire should be considered for the tour.