Viewing blog posts written by Gino DiCaro


CA's Virginia Park Foods is country's leading gluten free pasta maker

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on April 18, 2018

This week CW California and CMTA bring you Virginia Park Foods, a Riverside based pasta manfacturer, meeting the exponential demand for gluten free products. The company was founded in 2015 with a 4,000 square foot facility and recently acquired 35,000 square feet in Riverside to accomodate substantial growth. 

Virginia park foods sources most of its products from northern California farms, which makes a perfect case for why California should attract more manufacturing.  Every Californian benefits from long in-state supply chains from manufacturing oeprations. 

Here are a few opportunities and challenges before Virginia Park Foods:

Challenges: "Space is our biggest challenge right now," says Venugopal. "At the pace that we are moving, our 35,000 square-foot facility might soon be too small. We made the conscious decision, however, to stay in California, since this is where we started. We’ve looked at other options such as Detroit and New Jersey, but based on labor requirements and the expertise needed, California is the best place."

Opportunities: "There are always new opportunities in new types of flour," says Venugopal. "Right now legume-based pasta is in demand. Pasta from red or green lentils, black beans, chickpeas are in demand and the retail stores are trying to catch up. Eventually, the opportunities are there for the store brands to pick up on the movement and offer what consumers are wanting. Right now, this is a huge category that has not been fully tapped into by retailers." .... READ MORE ON COMPANY WEEK CA





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Saleen Automotive: Putting the custom in CA manufacturing

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on March 29, 2018

We introduced a new feature to the Champions blog last month.  We have partnered with CompanyWeek (CW) California to share information on the state's premier small to mid size manufacturers.  CW's featured companies are part of CMTA's Champions recognition program, intended to boost the image of California manufacturing and convince policymakers that manufacturing is the single best way to grow California’s economy and create high quality jobs. 

These companies are committed to California and exemplify the high principles of economic growth, innovation, entrepreneurship, and commitment to their employees. Together the CMTA Champions program and CW's many profiles will demonstrate how California manufacturers make a positive impact on their industry sector, their employees and their communities. 

This week CW California and CMTA bring you Saleen Automotive, a Corona-based automobile part manufacturer run by Amy Boylan. The company was founded in 1984 by Steve Saleen and, with lean manufacturing practices and an arduous commitment to social media engagement, Steve and Amy are transforming iconic automotive platforms into custom, high-performance machines. 

Saleen is exactly the type of niche custom manufacturing company that California must seek to grow.  Here are a few opportunities and challenges before them.

Needs: "You can never have enough equipment and people," says Boylan. "In this area of California, it’s hard to find workers. Where we are now, in Corona, California, it’s a great place for a middle-class lifestyle, but not the best place to find executive level employment. Most people at that level are transplants and that’s sometimes difficult.

Challenges: "Trying to grow at the speed we need," says Boylan. "We have turned a corner and are trying to keep up with a growing demand. We have created licensing deals with China to build vehicles over there, but all cars for North America will be designed, engineered, and built in the U.S. There are people here building to design stuff overseas. It’s the same for anyone building a car from scratch."

Opportunities: "Steve has never been pigeonholed into one thing," says Boylan. "He helped build the Ford GT for Ford, He also helped with the Dodge Viper. He’s brilliant in finding new opportunities. The new Saleen 1 (S1) for example breaks the mold for a $100K carbon fiber sports car that can reach 180 mph." ... READ MORE ON CW CALIFORNIA





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