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Business

Business

Made in Baltimore

Baltimore's manufacturing base has suffered just like everywhere else in the nation — the victim of cheap labor overseas and a changing business climate at home. What is left of manufacturing in the Baltimore metro area — diminished to about 5 percent of the region's work force from roughly one-third in the heyday of the 1950s — is a small cadre of companies that have found a blueprint for success. They are large corporations like Under Armour Inc., the homegrown sports apparel maker, and household names such as Domino Sugar, which still operates a factory on Baltimore's waterfront. And they are also lesser-known but stalwart companies that have chugged along for decades even as the manufacturing base crumbled around them. These niche companies make horseradish and lacrosse sticks and devices to sweep the crumbs from restaurant tabletops. We take you on a tour of those small manufacturers, and tell the stories of how they started and how they have survived. -- By Baltimore Sun reporters Andrea K. Walker, Edward Gunts, Hanah Cho, Lorraine Mirabella, Jamie Smith Hopkins and Gus G. Sentementes Also: • Take a video tour of the Vanns Spices facility
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