Torani completes move to new Flavor Factory
Torani, the 95-year-old flavour company best known for introducing the Italian soda to America and creating the world’s first flavoured latte, has completed the move from South San Francisco across the Bay to its new 330,000 square foot Flavor Factory in San Leandro, California.
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 according to the company. “We are deeply, deeply committed to staying in the Bay Area – leaving our home was never on the table. For us, this move was about having the space to continue to grow, service our customers and, most importantly, create more opportunities for our team members and all of the people, companies, and communities we touch,” explained 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. We need more in the mix than the desk and tech jobs the area is known for.”
San Leandro was chosen based on three factors: proximity, community and historical origin.
- When Torani began looking for a new location, 100% retention was its goal. An effort to zip code map every team member’s home revealed that 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 and innovative food company communities.
- Third, headquarters in San Leandro kept Torani in the heart of the Bay Area. The company was founded in North Beach and staying here was vital to its strategic advantage because of its culture of innovation and the global viewpoint.
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 team members safe. Now, after moving and updating three manufacturing lines across the Bay and installing a new best-in-class manufacturing line, Torani is fully operational in its new state-of-the-art manufacturing and distribution facility.
“The fact that we’ve accomplished all of this right now while keeping our business steady, is a testament to our amazing people, our togetherness, and all of the possibilities ahead,” added Dulbecco. “It’s been a monumental experience.”
The new Flavor Factory was designed to dramatically increase capacity to meet current and future demand, foster even more collaboration, and generate more opportunities for everyone Torani touches. The new facility was commercialised in waves to ensure minimal disruption in production and supply to Torani’s thousands of customers across the country and around the world.
The new manufacturing line was designed by Krones in Germany and utilises cutting-edge bottle-filling, labelling, wraparound case forming, palletising and inspection technologies. Torani expects the new manufacturing line to produce up to 350% more output than the lines installed in its old facility. All existing production lines are being upgraded with new line control technology and conveyors that will improve energy usage and increase output.
The new systems also create tremendous opportunities for Torani’s team, according to the company. With more technology in the new production lines, Torani says it is focused on elevating the work and career opportunities 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 by between 15% and 25% from the general San Leandro area by the end of the year. “We are over-the-moon excited to bring new opportunities to our team and our new community,” said Dulbecco.
Torani’s new headquarters features many special areas and energy-saving technologies, including:
Interior Design Features:
- Customer Experience Lab, a space designed for Torani’s café and restaurant customers to explore future product innovations, and co-create new drinks and beverage menus.
- Customer Play Area, where visitors will be able to experience Torani’s 200+ flavours first-hand while overlooking its manufacturing floor.
- A secret Speakeasy, hidden behind a bookcase as a nod to Torani’s history (as the company was founded during the pre-Prohibition era.) This secret room will be for both guests and team members on special occasions.
- The Torani Family Wall, where every team member’s photo is displayed.
- Torani Bottle Wall, a floor-to-ceiling display of Torani bottles serves as a backdrop for the Lobby and its private cafe area. Visitors will be greeted by a Receptionista, who will make each guest a flavoured latte via the company’s new La Marzocco espresso machine.
Technological and Sustainability Upgrades:
- Product Development Lab, double the size of its prior footprint, outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment and laid out to promote collaboration, experimentation and efficiency among its food scientists and trained tasters.
- Latest-generation energy-efficient movement-activated lighting throughout the Flavor Factory (with plans to incorporate solar power in 2021).
- State-of-the-art heating and cooling systems throughout the facility.
- Most current reverse osmosis water treatment that ensures the water meets the highest quality standards in the industry.
- New cleaning cycles that capture more water throughout the cleaning process and will decrease water usage by up to 25% over the company’s old process.