Firm doubles production capacity while bringing together two locations
UKIAH — Pamela’s Products has completed a $1 million building makeover at the firm’s new consolidated bakery located at 1 Carousel Lane.
This 76,400 square foot facility — devoted exclusively to gluten-free products — spans more than one and a half acres. It doubles the bakery’s previous capacity and will accommodate increased production of the company’s full product line of 135 SKUs (shelf keeping units).
The new bakery features an advanced 120-foot energy efficient tunnel oven and three new wrapping machines for the company’s product family ranging from baking mixes, traditional and organic cookies and bars, to biscotti, single-serve treats and ready-to-eat cakes.
The new site combines operations involving 76 employees at two previous locations under one roof — the original bakery formerly at 200 Clara Ave. along with separate cheesecake bakery at 200 W. Henry St.
CEO Pamela Giusto-Sorrells, a third-generation natural foods entrepreneur, founded the company in 1988 with the goal of making products designed to take the guesswork out of gluten-free eating and baking at home.
She follows in the footsteps of her grandparents who established one of the first health food stores in San Francisco in 1941, called the Golden Crescent, along with her father who operated a flour-processing mill for many years.
“It really is a dream come true,” said Ms. Giusto-Sorrells, who heads a company that has realized double-digit growth in recent years. “Our new home reflects the energy and enthusiasm we have for making nutritious gluten-free products that taste better than their conventional counterparts, while also giving us many possibilities for sustained growth.”
“Gluten-free products are no longer a trend, fad or just limited to those with gluten intolerance or sensitivity. They have become a lifestyle choice for many Americans.”
Pamela’s Products accounts for more than 55 percent of the sales of gluten-free baking mixes in the U.S. The firm has the No. 1 gluten-free cookie (Chunky Chocolate Chip) in both the natural foods and grocery channels.
Furthermore, the company has three other products consistently in the No. 1 ranking, including its gluten-free Baking and Pancake Mix, Brownie Mix and Chocolate Cake Mix.
According to company sources, one in 133 people have Celiac Disease, an autoimmune condition triggered by gluten protein found in most grains and present in almost all baked goods such as pizza, pasta, cereals and other foods. In addition, one in 20 people have gluten sensitivity or intolerance.
Untreated, Celiac Disease can lead to the development of disorders such as osteoporosis, infertility, neurological conditions, and even cancer.
Based on a report from the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, 97 percent of those with Celiac Disease are not diagnosed. The only treatment for Celiac and gluten sensitivity is a gluten-free diet.
Jennifer Ramstad, the company’s new director of marketing, joins Creative Director Deborah Shea, Vice President of Sales Linda Gerwig and five other employees at the company’s new 1,200-square-foot headquarters located at 900 Mission Avenue, Ste. 3, in San Rafael.
“Pamela recently introduced five new products at Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim containing no artificial colors, flavors, ingredients or preservatives. The products are certified by the Gluten Free Certification Organization (GFCO),” Ms. Ramstad said. “These items are expected to appear on retail shelves this fall.”
Pamela’s Products can be found at Andronico’s, Andy’s, Delano’s, Fircrest, Good Earth, Market of Choice, Molsberry’s, Pacific Market, Palace Market, Oliver’s, Santa Rosa Community Market, Sprouts Farmer’s Market, Sunflower Market and Whole Foods.
With an eye on reducing its carbon footprint, Pamela’s Products has made several sustainable production enhancements, including the installation of energy-efficient lighting, using recycled cardboard packaging and printing with soy-based inks.
The firm also switched to PET (polyethylene terephthalate) recyclable type 1 plastic trays — a plastic that can be recycled into carpet yarn, fiberfill, tote bags as well as drink containers, luggage and even clothing.
The company has received numerous trade and consumer awards over the years, including three in 2012: About.Com’s Gluten-Free Readers’ Choice Awards, Triumph Dining Best of GF Awards and the Better Nutrition Superstar Awards.
The firm’s entire product line is also available through www.Amazon.com along with 25-pound bulk flour packages. Information about the company is also available on Facebook, Twitter and www.PamelasProducts.com.
The company distributes its products in the U.S. and Canada as well as in Hong Kong, Jamaica, Mexico and Singapore through international exporter United National Foods, Inc.
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