North Bay Business Journal

Monday, May 5, 2014, 6:55 am

Guy Fieri moves ‘Flavortown Market’ to Santa Rosa

Warehouse converted to supermarket set for TV show


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    Flavortown Market, Santa Rosa

    A south Santa Rosa warehouse was transformed into a 15,500-square-foot supermarket set for Guy Fieri’s “Guy’s Grocery Games” show. (credit: Food Network)

    SANTA ROSA — As the start of the second season of homegrown celebrity chef and restaurateur Guy Fieri’s cable television show Guy’s Grocery Games nears, “Flavortown Market” now has a Santa Rosa address.

    Mr. Fieri’s favorite catchphrase on his television programs is “one-way ticket to Flavortown!” In the first season of the reality show on Food Network, “Flavortown Market” was a real California store, Fields Market in West Hills.

    Earlier this year, the show moved to a set built in a south Santa Rosa industrial park. An affiliate of the show’s producers leased 24,000 square feet in Industry West Commerce Center off Todd Road in January and within two weeks transformed the space into a 15,500-square-foot supermarket set for the series, according to Food Network and real estate sources. Producing the show is Beverly Hills-based Relativity Television.

    In an interview for Food Network, Mr. Fieri said the newly built set offers a more widely “eclectic” and international mix of products and a better layout than what’s found in the real world.

    “The aisles are wider, the lighting is better, so it makes it easier for the chefs to shop and see what’s on the shelves,” he told the network. “Going along with the shelves, the culinary team has stocked and set them up so they’re far more shopper-friendly. There are a lot of great markets around the country, but I wish Flavortown Market really existed.”

    Each episode of Guy’s Grocery Games pits four chefs against each other to prepare dishes with ingredients pulled from the shelves of a grocery store. They are thrown “real-world” curve balls such as sticking to a budget, substituting out-of-stock ingredients and shopping just before a store closes.

    Is the North Bay suitable for more ongoing national media productions, such as Guy Fieri's new Santa Rosa set for a cable TV show?

    • Yes (72%, 52 votes)
    • Not yet (10%, 7 votes)
    • No (17%, 12 votes)
    • Don't know (1%, 1 votes)

    Total voters: 72
    Polling period: May 7, 2014 @ 2:00 pm – May 14, 2014 @ 2:00 pm

    Loading ... Loading ...

    Fields Market in San Fernando Valley has a selection of 25,000 fresh, boxed, canned, deli, bakery products. The new set also “carries” 20,000 products. While the aisle racks, checkout lanes, refrigerator and freezer cabinets and wood-grain vinyl flooring are real, the walls are painted plywood panels anchored to the warehouse walls.

    Food Network noted that an actual grocery store can take up to two years to build.

    The arrival of “Flavortown Market” in Santa Rosa appears to be the first major television production based in the North Bay, according to Ben Stone, executive director of Sonoma County Economic Development Board, which talked with the production team initially. The region has a number of film and advertisement productions come through, and there has been talk about setting up significant television production facilities for programs focusing on wine and food.

    “We’re seeing the rise of the creative economy,” he said. “It’s the fusion of art with technology and business. … This is a real indicator of what’s happening.”

    Mr. Stone noted that this move of production to Santa Rosa is another, major giveback by Mr. Fieri to the local community.

    Sources close to the series production said that the shift was largely due to scheduling conflicts and that Mr. Fieri wanted to be closer to his family and Santa Rosa-based businesses. Outside of a core production team, Mr. Fieri pushed for including local talent, the sources said.

    Mr. Fieri started his career in food by co-opening Johnny Garlic’s restaurant in Santa Rosa with Steve Gruber in 1996. Winning a Food Network competition launched Mr. Fieri into the national spotlight. He now hosts or appears on several Food Network shows and has his own line of packaged foods and kitchen gear. His restaurant business now includes several locations of Johnny Garlic’s, Tex Wasabi, Guy’s Burger Joint and Guy’s American Burger and Bar.

    The first episode of the new season of Guy’s Grocery Games is set for broadcast May 11. In that episode on Mother’s Day, four mothers and talented chefs compete in a new game, “ABC,” in which they can only cook with ingredients whose names start with the same letter. In “Budget Battle,” three remaining chefs make a brunch for four on a budget of $7.08. The final game for the two remaining contestants is called “Cart Swap.”

    Rhonda Deringer and Dan Martinez of Keegan & Coppin Co., Inc./ONCOR International represented Santa Rosa property owner Industry West Commerce Center, LLC, in the lease, signed Jan. 28.

    Production crew for Flavortown Market, Santa Rosa

    A crew of 95 came to wine country from Southern Calfornia to build the set and operate 28 cameras during production. (credit: Food Network)

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    1. May 5, 2014, 11:06 am

      by Jimmy

      Can we excommunicate this [expletive deleted per Comment Policy] from Sonoma County?

    2. May 5, 2014, 11:59 am

      by Wellen

      What is done with all the perishables?
      Must be rotated else all shows filmed in a 2 day period?

    3. May 5, 2014, 12:27 pm

      by Jeff Quackenbush, Business Journal Staff Reporter

      Sources say the food is donated.

    4. May 5, 2014, 1:27 pm

      by Brian B

      How does “Mr. Fieri pushed for including local talent” and “a crew of 95 came to wine country from Southern California to build the set and operate 28 cameras during production” make any sense? 95 crew members from L.A. does nothing for our local economy. Is someone full of donkey sauce?

    5. May 5, 2014, 5:31 pm

      by Jeff Quackenbush, Business Journal Staff Reporter

      The 95 crew members from L.A. came in to build the set built quickly. An unspecified number of locals will be part of the ongoing production.

    6. June 22, 2014, 3:18 pm

      by sue loosse

      I am so happy to see this is being done in Santa Rosa. It is a great place to live and I miss smelling the Grape Crush that came through the open window. I live in Tucson and we don’t open windows in summer. I miss the Golden State.

    7. October 26, 2014, 7:06 pm

      by Gregory

      I wish they had this in Hemet CA would be cool to shop in his store.

    8. November 14, 2014, 2:39 pm

      by Linda Basso

      What happens to perishable foods that are not used in the show? Does some of it go to Worth Our Weight? It would be a worthy place to donate to.

    9. November 23, 2014, 4:28 pm

      by bill simons

      Ijust wanted to say i love guy and his show, i hope that they do donate the food that is not used to people that are starving in the united states thankyou.

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