Former Barbara’s Bakery building to be re-purposed for two tenants
Sean Lovett of Revive Kombucha and Claire LeValley of Rustic Bakery.
Petaluma, CA November 21, 2014 — Food and beverage producers are growing in Sonoma County, most recently with the addition of a new facility for nine year old Marin based Rustic Bakery which will support wholesale packaged goods, and Revive Kombucha’s overdue expansion from Windsor. Rustic will be consolidating its wholesale baking from its existing café’s in Marin where demand for their retail products has patrons regularly lining up out their doors. Their new 20,000 square foot facility will be much more efficient than baking in their current cafes, where they have been operating at capacity. Four year old Revive is expanding from a very cramped facility in Windsor to approximately 30,000 square feet. Both decided independently that Petaluma was the ideal location for their respective companies because of the unique brand appeal “Made in Sonoma County” appeals to consumers, as well as the specialized food and beverage production amenities the former Barbara’s Bakery building offers.
The approximate 50,000 square foot building was purchased vacant in 2013 by a group of local investors led by Scott Schadlich and Brian Muller, who own other commercial properties in the North Bay. “We had other opportunities to lease this building to distribution and warehouse users, but we stuck to our plan and waited for food or beverage producers who would value the floor drains and other attributes in the building,” stated Schadlich. Muller added, “Putting a bakery back into the building was a “no-brainer”. And Revive sees real benefits of not only the existing cold rooms, but also the office areas.”
Revive was founded in 2010 by Sean J. Lovett, who has grown his company exponentially in the nascent kombucha beverage segment to quickly become one of the top producers in the country. The triple combination of expanded and automated production capability, new distribution partners, and an expanding product line will help supply increasing demand for the popular craft brewed & fermented probiotic beverage. One of Revive’s unique market differentiators is its commitment to sustainable packaging and production practices such as the bottle exchange program, where they created a distribution network for reusing their bottles. Impressively over 75% of its bottles are returned annually. Revive has foregone significant sales this year due to limited space for production expansion. They currently work out of nine incubator units, forklifting throughout the business parking lot, so there are a lot of efficiencies to gain from consolidating under one roof. “We are grateful to have found such an awesome building and property owners who support our vision for growth and sustainable business initiatives. It’s a blessing to have landed in Petaluma, which provides us access to a dynamic community of sustainably oriented businesses, schools and nonprofits,” said Lovett. Clay Stephens of Warren Capital, and Sonoma County BEST assisted Revive with working capital for their expansion. Revive will bring 20 jobs to the new Petaluma location and they also plan to hire 20 more employees over the next year.
Rustic Bakery was founded by the wife and husband team of Carol LeValley and Josh Harris, who got their start after seeing Petaluma based Cowgirl Creamery’s beautiful artisan cheeses being served at the Ferry Building in San Francisco with mass produced crackers. With encouragement from Cowgirl founders Peggy Smith and Sue Conley, Rustic leased a former café in Larkspur. Their original plan was to bake only wholesale crackers, but the retail café was already established providing a needed revenue source, and other café opportunities came one after another in the ensuing years. Rustic is very excited to execute their original wholesale baking business plan in Petaluma, as there are many retailers they haven’t been able to supply due to constraints in their existing operations. “It will be nice to be located down the street from Cowgirl,” added LeValley with a smile, who maintains close ties with Smith and Conley.
Petaluma staff have thus far worked proactively with both Revive and Rustic on permitting issues. “Petaluma’s staff went above and beyond to help us answer preliminary questions before finalizing our plans,” said Lovett. Levalley added, “Without the timely assistance from staff, our decisions to proceed with this facility in Petaluma would have been more difficult and taken more time.”
Petaluma’s Economic Development Program has focused on the growth and development of natural and specialty food products. A study recently completed by the City found that Petaluma’s food processing businesses have a $1.3 billion economic impact on the regional economy every year through direct employment, as well as processing locally sourced raw materials.
“Revive and Rustic Bakery embody the kind of companies Petaluma envisioned attracting when it completed its Economic Development Strategy in late 2010,” explained Ingrid Alverde, Petaluma’s Economic Development Manager and Sonoma County BEST Board Member. “They are both manufacturing companies focused on high quality products, utilizing local labor, and sustainable business practices. Then occupying a formerly vacant building without having to build new a new facility is a win-win-win for everyone.” For further information, please contact Ingrid Alverde, City of Petaluma Economic Development Manager, at (707) 778-4549 or firstname.lastname@example.org.