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Gourmet food maker will occupy half of Mrs. Grossman’s sticker factory

[caption id="attachment_32390" align="alignright" width="360" caption="Torn Studio sells its gourmet treats to retailers and gift basket makers throughout North America."][/caption]

PETALUMA -- Torn Ranch, a manufacturer of gourmet treats with thousands of retail and wholesale customers throughout North America, will move from Novato to Petaluma.

The 10-year-old company now occupies two buildings and wants to consolidate its operations, according to Dean Morrow, Torn Ranch president.

“We like the business climate in Petaluma, and we liked the leasing options," he said. "Also, many of our employees live in Sonoma County."

Mr. Morrow, citing the highly competitive nature of gourmet food manufacturing, was close-mouthed about the size of his staff and company revenues. Torn Ranch is thought to employ about 100.

“We do intend to expand our workforce, and the move represents an expansion space-wise,” he said.

The company will occupy just over 50,000 square feet on both floors of a Mrs. Grossman’s Paper Co. facility on Cyprus Drive in Petaluma.

“They’re a perfect fit for us,” said Jason Grossman. “I’ve been trying to lease out that space for five years. We overbuilt in the first place.”

He operates Paragon Label and the sticker- and scrapbook-making company founded by his mother, Andrea Grossman.

In 1995 Mrs. Grossman’s doubled its space, essentially adding a second building next to the first.

The label and sticker printing operations never occupied the entire 105,000 square feet. Then Mr. Grossman decided to downsize, freeing even more space.

“Our ideal was a company that wanted the entire surplus," he said. "That’s why we’re so pleased with Torn Ranch as a tenant."

He’ll make the extensive upgrades necessary for a food-making facility, although he declined to mention the amount of the capital investment. Torn Ranch hopes to be in its new quarters by June or July, he said.

Torn Ranch started life as a retailer of cashew nuts in San Rafael. It was acquired by its present owners in 1999.

“They were in 3,000 square feet,” said Trevor Buck, a Cassidy Turley BT Commercial real estate agent who represented Torn Ranch in the lease deal.

“I moved them into 9,000 square feet, then 18,000 square feet," he said. "They’ve been growing steadily. Torn Ranch is a great light-manufacturing addition to Petaluma and Sonoma County."

The company currently makes chocolate, jelly beans, roasted nuts, dried fruit, biscotti, cookies and other treats. It assembles trays and gift baskets for spas, corporate gifts, hotels, retailers, wholesalers and gift basket makers.

Torn Ranch sells through its website and wholesale catalogs, according to Mr. Morrow.

The new space will be green-certified, according to Mr. Buck. Mrs. Grossman's has received the PG&E Innovative Leadership Award multiple times for energy conservation and received the Sonoma County Business Environmental Alliance Best Practices Award in 2009.

“We make an effort to run a green operation and we conserve energy wherever possible. I believe we’ll be a good tenant,” said Mr. Morrow.

Steven Leonard of Cassidy Turley and Mr. Buck represented Mrs. Grossman's in the lease.

For more information, visit www.TornRanch.com.