Twenty-two years ago, two women launched Chachies — an authentic Mexican food product company — in Oceanside. Their products were such a hit that they sold the company in 1988 to someone who could take it to the next level, hence garnering a national presence.
By 1994, Chachies, which was scaled back to sell only fresh salsa, was sold in major supermarkets and club stores across the country.
Doug Pearson bought the company in 1996 and acquired Santa Barbara Salsa in 1998. The company was renamed to California Creative Foods and has become one of the largest manufacturers of refrigerated salsa products, according to Pearson. Today, the company employs 125 people and is five times larger than when Pearson first purchased it.
With all the company’s success comes demand for more products. And that demand requires more people and a larger facility.
Pearson said the need for more workspace was realized a few years ago, but after researching buildings to lease in Oceanside, he found that none offered features required for a food processing plant. Wanting to remain in Oceanside in order to make the commute as easy as possible for his employees, Pearson sought out a site to construct a new building.
While finding a site for a new facility was not easy, choosing a bank for the SBA loan was.
“We had banked with Regents Bank for a long time,” Pearson said. “The Bank is easy to work with and they are also very familiar with the SBA process, which I found not all banks are.”
Jay Hibert of Regents Bank worked with Pearson through the construction and 504 process over the past few years. California Creative Foods’ facility was completed in September 2005 and the firm relocated to its new headquarters. The building, constructed by Brea, Calif.-based KPRS Construction Services Inc., is 40,000 square feet —more than twice the size of the company’s former home. Now the company is able to maintain all inventory under one roof and still have room to grow. The building also houses several freezer vaults, office space, conference rooms, a lounge and a demonstration kitchen.
Several energy efficient features were also put into place, and Pearson was pleased to discover that his energy bill remained the same during that first month in the new facility, despite the increased square footage.
And although not all the positive impacts of moving into a new facility have been realized in such a short period of time, Pearson has no doubts about the continued growth of his company or in his choice of banks.
“I’m really glad to have worked with Regents Bank,” he said. “They made everything about the process very smooth. Even construction of the plant went smoothly.”
Founded in 2001, Regents Bank is locally owned and managed, offering a wide range of financial services to small to midsized businesses, as well as individuals.
Sponsored by Regents Bank