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Roche Bros Barrel & Drum Co.

Our History


Founded in a Barn

Bill and Jim Roche set up shop a Somerville barn in 1919 brokering wooden barrels.


American Ingenuity

Forced to move by World War 2 and again after a devasting fire, Roche Bros Barrel & Drum continued to grow, entering the emerging steel drum market and helping household brands, like Land O Lakes®, to thrive.


Made in the USA

As a fourth generation joins the business, Roche Bros Barrel & Drum keeps manufacturing alive in the USA from its Lowell-based headquarters.

Founded in 1919

Our Founder

Our founder William (Bill) Roche founded Roche Bros. Barrel & Drum Co. in 1919, with his brother Jim, out of a barn behind his home in Somerville, Massachusetts. His brother became ill and passed away shortly after, but Bill kept the name Roche Bros to honor Jim’s memory and to keep the brotherly inspiration for the company alive.

In Somerville, Bill ran the company as a dealer. He collected and brokered wooden barrels, picking them up with a horse and wagon. The business soon outgrew the barn.

Move to South Boston

In 1924, Bill bought land in South Boston across from the Boston Fish Pier (now called the Fan Pier). He built a metal building and set up shop coopering wooden barrels. The business thrived.

Fan Pier vendors were eager to buy his barrels. The nearby rail yard enabled him to ship barrels to the Philadelphia and Chicago markets. He also trucked them through out New England and New York. Bill put up a second building — just to store the butter buckets he sold to Land O’Lakes — which was founded in 1921 and growing in prominence. He also took advantage of the emerging steel drum market, brokering steel drums to sell to the New Jersey market.

Made in the USA


New & Reconditioned Plastic Drums


New & Reconditioned Steel Drums


Reconditioned & Rebottled Bulk Containers | Totes

Roche Bros Barrels at South Boston's Fan Pier

Year Founded

Years of Manufacturing in the USA

Forced to Move Twice

World War 2 Forces Roche Bros to Move

South Boston was an ideal home for Roche Bros. But 1941 would change all that.

The second World War broke out and the federal government seized the property by eminent domain. Abutted by the Army Base, and situated on the rail line, the government needed the location to store the tanks and munitions being shipped into Boston.

Bill was given 30 days to vacate the property.

Move to Cambridge

Bill bought a two-story building, formerly a lumber yard, on McGrath & O’Brien Highway in East Cambridge. Roche Bros reconditioned steel drums on the first floor and manufactured wooden barrels on the second floor.

During the 1950s, and giving a new meaning to the company name of Roche Bros, Bill’s four sons joined the company. Together with their father, Frank, Tom, Charlie, and Mike, ran the business from the Cambridge location. Roche Bros continued to thrive, but was devastated by a fire in 1966 and moved again.

Settled in Lowell

Mill City Manufacturer

After the 1966 fire, the Roche family moved the company to Lowell and built a manufacturing facility tailored to recondition open head steel barrels. In 1975, the company added a manufacturing line to recondition tight head steel barrels. In the 1980s, as a third generation of Roches (Kevin, Greg, and Mike) joined the business, Roche Bros expanded into manufacturing new steel barrels.

Roche Bros Barrel & Drum Today

Today, Greg Roche and the first fourth-generation family member, Mike Jr. run the business. Roche Bros still calls Lowell its home and offers a full range of container products including new and reconditioned plastic and steel drums, and reconditoned and rebottled bulk containers | totes.

Contact Roche Bros Barrel & Drum Co.


No Walk-in Orders

Roche Bros Barrel & Drum

159 Phoenix Avenue
Lowell MA 01852


Hours of Operation

M-F: 8am – 4:15pm