Beverage syrups and sauces giant Torani has completed its move across the bay from South San Francisco into a state-of-the-art manufacturing and office headquarters called the Flavor Factory in San Leandro, California.
One of the first orders of business inside the sparkling new facility was to kick off the Torani Café Opportunity Fund, which launched with $250,000 in May and has been used to issue cash grants to cafes struggling through the COVID-19 pandemic, while also supporting barista funds and product donations to frontline workers.
In addition to helping keep some of its coffee retail peers in business, Torani plans to expand its 200-member staff by approximately 15% to 20%, according to a recent press announcement from the company.
Torani, a certified B Corp that also lays claim to creating the first flavored latte, got its start in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood back in 1925 after founders Rinaldo and Ezilda Torre returned from a family visit in Lucca, Italy, with recipes for Italian syrups, according to company lore.
Now occupying a 330,000-square-foot facility after pandemic-related delays in the finishing stretch, the company says it chose San Leandro after zip-code-mapping its current employee base, and for the suburb’s emerging food manufacturing sector.
“We are deeply, deeply committed to staying in the Bay Area — leaving our home was never on the table,” Torani CEO Melanie Dulbecco said. “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.”
The new facility contains a mix of manufacturing spaces, office spaces and customer-oriented spaces such as a Customer Experience Lab, where cafe and restaurant customers can explore products and engage in custom recipe creation.