Navitas natural foods purchases 23,000 square feet in Novato

NOVATO -- Navitas Naturals, a supplier of organic, natural energy and antioxidant foods, purchased its existing 23,000- square-foot warehouse at 9 and 15 Pamoran Way in Novato after experiencing significant growth and after the opportunity to own rather than lease presented itself to the company.

Zach Adelman, founder and chief executive officer of Navitas -- the Latin word for energy -- said the company purchased the site that is has occupied for six years by way of an SBA 504 loan totaling $3.2 million. Navitas has also seen a significant increase in business over the past year.

"Just this year, we're probably growing a pace of about 85 percent compared to last year," Mr. Adelman said."We've experienced a tremendous amount of growth in the first quarter of this year." Compared to when he founded the company in 2003, he said, "Now we're 100 times as large. That was part of the driver."

[caption id="attachment_55363" align="alignright" width="250" caption="Zach Adelman"][/caption]

And given the relatively affordable price tag of the location, Mr. Adelman said it made sense to move forward with the purchase.

"It just made sense that if the opportunity came about, we'd purchase," he said. "We want to control our own destiny and not be fighting with other tenants for space. In Marin, there's not a ton of these types of buildings. Quite often they don't come up for sale, so it was kind of a unique situation." 

The SBA loan comes with about a 5 percent interest rate. Navitas put up 10 percent of the transaction cost, while the bank put up 50 percent and the remaining 40 percent is backed by the SBA.

Mr. Adelman said the company plans to further customize the building to suit the needs of Navitas, which has seen an increased demand in many of its products as consumers seek more healthful foods, such as cacao, flax and wheatgrass. Navitas, which has a staff of 42, has products in Whole Foods and other health stores across the country. At the Novato facility, the company packages and ships products across the country to retail outlets.

"We're going to invest upwards of a quarter million dollars for expansion," Mr. Adelman said, adding that the business will hire additional staff if needed. "We'll double the size of our production space and add more office space."

He also said there is a growing awareness of the products, which include Goji berries, Chia and other foods that can be used as supplements or as ingredients in baking or cooking.

"Same-store sales continue to rise at a very high rate for us," Mr. Adelman said. "We're pretty happy and very fortunate."

Roger Smith, senior vice president of Cornish & Carey Commercial Newmark Knight Frank,  represented both the landlord, Pierpont Investment Trust, and the tenant.

TMC Financing, a non-profit certified development company (CDC), provided the funding for the Navitis loan.

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