Learn More About Eastern Burlap & Trading Co.

Founded by Benjamin Popkin, Eastern Burlap & Trading Co. was established to manufacture burlap and other textile bags for the produce grown in the rich soil of Virginia and North Carolina. Through the remainder of the twenties, the depression years of the thirties, the war years of the forties and into the fifties, the company continued to serve the agricultural markets of the region, adding such containers as baskets, boxes, and crates.
With the onset of the fifties, returning veterans from World War II and the Korean Conflict had returned to civilian life and begun to prosper. The farmland of Tidewater, Virginia and North Carolina was giving way to suburbs and agriculture was diminishing. At the same time, transportation innovations created changes in agricultural packaging. The need for traditional packages diminished; paper and plastic containers and bulk shipping became the rule.
Repairing Boat — Boating Supplies in Norfolk, VA
Mature man on a motor boat — Boating Supplies in Norfolk, VA
In order to survive, Eastern Burlap had to reinvent itself. Sidney Popkin, then at the helm of the company, made forays into a number of diverse fields. He tested the waters for the construction markets and a variety of consumer commodities. In 1957, he and a group of men became involved with the fabrication of fiberglass reinforced plastic products. Fiberglass, then in its commercial infancy, became a mainstay in the manufacture of boats. The marine industry was the largest consumer of fiberglass for about two decades. Located at the confluence of the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, Eastern Burlap was at the perfect place to develop this market.
Today, under the third generation of family ownership, Eastern Burlap distributes and markets a vast array of fiberglass materials and supplies. The company serves a wide variety of industries, from the world famous builders of sport fishing boats in North Carolina to the shipyards who build our nation's super carriers and nuclear submarines, the transportation industry, the aviation industry, the commercial fishing industry, the corrosion control industry and a host of others.
Because we stock many difficult to find materials, and since even large companies sometimes have small requirements, we can offer the small shop, the hobbyist, the home boat builder and any other small user of fiberglass reinforced plastics reasonable quantities at competitive pricing.
Richard Popkin — Boating Supplier in Norfolk, VA