Torani Syrups – Newest Product Made in San Leandro!
Torani, the 95-year-old flavor company best known for introducing the Italian soda to America and creating the world’s first flavored latte, has completed the move from South San Francisco across the Bay to its new 330,000 square foot Flavor Factory in San Leandro.
Torani had outgrown its facilities in South San Francisco and started looking for a new headquarters home in the Bay Area in 2016. Leaving the Bay Area was never an option, despite more attractive rents and incentives in nearby states that have lured other food manufacturers and companies away from California.
“We are deeply, deeply committed to staying in the Bay Area, leaving our home was never on the table. For us, this move was having the space to continue to grow our business, service our customers and most importantly, and creating more opportunities for our team members and all of the people, companies, and communities we touch,” explains Melanie Dulbecco, CEO of Torani. “We are also determined to keep creating a wide range of jobs and careers for people in the Bay Area, not just the desk and tech jobs the area is known for.”
City Staff has been working with Torani for over two years in a variety of manners in order to help make the transition as smooth as possible. Most recently, the Building & Safety inspectors worked closely with the contractors to ensure that construction stayed on track. Torani has also been active in the San Leandro community, participating in local job fairs and even setting up a booth at the 2019 Cherry Festival in an effort to introduce themselves to the local residents.
“Building the Torani Flavor Factory in San Leandro has been one of the most monumental tasks in our 95 year old history!” says Torani Principal Lisa Lucheta. “We felt very welcomed and supported by the City of San Leandro through this entire process, from our initial conversations a few years ago all the way through opening our front doors today. Now we can’t wait to become a part of this amazing maker’s community.”
San Leandro was chosen based on three factors: proximity, community, and historical origin.
- When Torani began looking for a new location, 100% team member retention was their ultimate goal. An effort to zip code map every employee’s home found San Leandro was a commutable and desired location by its team.
- Second, the company saw a tremendous opportunity within San Leandro to become an active member of its growing maker’s and innovative food company communities.
- Third, San Leandro keeps Torani in the heart of the Bay Area. the company was created in North Beach and staying here was vital to its strategic advantage because of its culture of innovation and the global viewpoint it imparts.
Originally planned to be completed in early June 2020, the already-complicated move was made even more challenging by the COVID-19 Pandemic and the related safety measures Torani enacted to keep its over 200 employees safe. Now, after moving and updating three manufacturing lines across the Bay and installing a new manufacturing line, Torani is fully operational in its new state-of-the-art manufacturing and distribution facility.
“Nothing says more about Torani’s people, our culture, and our possibilities for the future than the fact that we’ve done this, and kept the business strong during this time,” added Dulbecco. “It’s been a monumental and humbling experience.”
Torani expects the new manufacturing line and upgrades to existing lines to produce up to 350% more output than the lines installed in its old facility.
The new systems also create tremendous opportunities for Torani’s team members. With more automation in the new production lines, Torani is focused on elevating the work of its team members with the new skills and abilities required to run the state-of-the-art equipment.
Now that Torani has completed the move and is fully up and running, the company expects to expand its team between 15% and 25% by the end of the year.
“We expect to hire between 30 and 50 new team members from the San Leandro and the East Bay area before the end of the year,” says Dulbecco. “There is nothing that excites us more than bringing new opportunities to our current team AND our new community.” Job seekers can keep an eye on Torani’s careers web page for openings.