Category: Food Processing

South Valley Industrial Summit

Join us Wednesday, November 14th for the
optional pre-summit workshops offered free of
charge to industry partners. Come and learn about
new technologies and processes.
Thursday, November 15th is designed to be a
full-day event that will feature vendor booths,
keynote speakers, and various breakout sessions
offered by industry experts and practitioners.
Keynote Speakers
 President & CEO, California Dairies
 Faraday Future
 Surf Ranch, Kelly Slater Wave Company
NEW! Optional Pre-Summit Workshops
Nov. 14
 Lean Principles
 ABB Inc in Robotics
 Variable Frequency Drive Basics & Control Methods
 Intro to Machine Vision
 Safety Solutions: Introduction to Automation Safety

Burger boom hits Visalia, Tulare

In America, the hamburger is king.

In Tulare County, that has never been more true.

New burger joints have been popping up across Visalia and Tulare — and these aren’t just your run-of-the-mill burgers either.

Restaurants have been turning the burger on its side and residents are up for the change.

Here are some new places to grab a quick burger around town.

Burgerim

New spot Burgerim, located in the Kohl’s shopping center, has 11 different patty options and dozens of ways to customize your burger.

The menu includes several types of beef, turkey, salmon, chicken and lamb patties. For those who don’t eat meat, the restaurant also offers veggie and falafel burgers.

Rose Oganesyan, who owns the Visalia location, said she fell in love with the restaurant when she first tried it in Los Angeles.

Her favorite? The garlic aioli fries.

The made-to-order, 3-ounce burgers are bigger than a slider but smaller than what American tastebuds are used to.

Perfect for those concerned with portion control, Oganesyan said.

The store also offers family and party boxes for larger families or events and beer and wine.

Don’t want to wait in line? Soon, the Visalia restaurant will also offer Uber Eats delivery services.

Other than burgers, customer favorites include the milkshakes and chicken wings, Oganesyan said.

“Customers say they like the atmosphere,” she said. “Everyone says they like it because it’s something different in Visalia.”

The store is one of only 40 open in the United States. The chain restaurant was started in Israel about seven years ago and made its way to America in 2015, Oganesyan said.

More than 270 locations are in the works across the country, including just a few miles down the road in Tulare.

Oganesyan is currently working to open a Burgerim next to Bravo Farms at the Tulare Outlets.

For those who are overwhelmed with the menu, Oganesyan said to just ask for help.

“The first time may be a challenge, but we will try to help you and offer suggestions,” she added. “We’re new to town, just give us a chance.”

Wimpy’s to land in Visalia

Wimpy’s Hamburger, one of Tulare’s most beloved eateries, has set its eyes on downtown Visalia.

The burger joint will take over the former Gumbo Express on Court Street.

The restaurant’s owners plan to refurbish the location and expect to serve Visalians their tasty fries and burgers by next year, co-owner Willy Espinoza said.

Opening the location in Visalia will bring an additional choice for those who frequent the vibrant downtown scene and will fill the void Checkers left when it closed, Espinoza said.

“We have always liked downtown Visalia,” he said. “It’s a place where there are a lot of people walking around. There’s nothing like this in the area.”

With the downtown Visalia location, Wimpy’s Hamburger will have three locations. A location in Dinuba opened in December.

More meat in downtown

Well-known developer JR Shannon is leasing a former antique store at 531 E. Main to a local burger maker. Kingsburg’s Stacked Bar and Grill will be offering their “humungous” burgers here this summer after the 5,500 square-foot building is remodeled.

The restaurant will be open for lunch, dinner and late night snacks.

More: Rumor has it Visalia is booming with new restaurants

Todd Asajian and Noah Murguia, the owners of Stacked just celebrated their 1 year anniversary at their downtown Kingsburg location. Asajian also owns and operates multiple Deli Delicious stores in Visalia and Kingsburg.

Like its neighbor, BarrelHouse Brewing, Stacked will feature a backyard patio.

“This is the third new venture I am doing along East Main since the new brewery district was formed” said Shannon.

Burger of options in Tulare

Tulare burger connoisseurs will have plenty of options to grub on in the next few months.

Two new burger joints will be opening their doors to Tulare residents: The Habit Burger and Wayback Burger

Construction is well underway for The Habit Burger located on Prosperity Avenue.

The burger restaurant, which also has a location in Visalia, took over the spot that long-housed fast food restaurant Long John Silvers.

Not too far from The Habit Burger, construction crews are also hard at work to open Wayback Burger along Tulare Avenue near Tulare Union High School.

City officials foresee the burger joint being a hot spot for students.

“I think it’s a lot better to have a hamburger restaurant so close to the high school,” said Jeff Killion, Tulare planning commission chairman. “I am glad to see that change.”

Tulare Associate Planner Steven Sopp said Wayback Burger will only take about half of the current 5,300 square-foot empty building.

Also, Wayback Burger can be a place millennials consider their third spot, what’s described in marketing as the place to go after home and work.

“Kids have money to spend. If they want to patronize the downtown businesses, it’s good for business,” he said. “This is going to be an upscale meeting place. It is going to be a different type of atmosphere.”

According to its website, Wayback Burger was founded in 1991 in Newark, DE. Currently, the hamburger chain has 142 locations in 28 states, including restaurants in Firebaugh and Tracy in the Central Valley.

Wayback Burger also has locations in Argentina, Malaysia, Morocco and Saudi Arabia.

Hometown favorites

While trying new things is great, sometimes a good old-fashioned burger from your favorite hometown hangout is all you need.

Here are some of Tulare County’s best burger places, according to readers.

  • Woodlake Drive Inn, Woodlake
  • In-N-Out, Visalia
  • Mama K’s Diner, Visalia
  • Buns and Torts, Visalia
  • Rainbow Drive-In, Farmersville
  • Docs Drive-In, Visalia
  • Buzz’s Drive Inn, Goshen
  • Juicy Burger, Porterville
  • Sno-White Drive-In, Tulare
  • Pita Kabob, Visalia
  • Good Times Cafe, Visalia
  • Martha’s Mexican Food, Orosi.

https://www.visaliatimesdelta.com/story/entertainment/dining/2018/08/30/burger-boom-hits-visalia-tulare/882303002/

VOLT Institute Graduates Inaugural Class

MODESTO, CA — On June 27, nearly a year after opening, VOLT Institute saw the graduation of its

first class of maintenance mechanic students. VOLT Institute, a partnership of Opportunity Stanislaus

and Stanislaus County Office of Education, was started at the request of local employers looking for

skilled candidates to fill existing and future vacancies. Employers set a priority of training maintenance

mechanics, a field with widespread shortages including over 300 openings in Stanislaus County alone.

Austin Parker, 22, is one of the graduates. He credits the program with his new job at Hughson Nut,

citing the teachers, hands-on learning, and personalized pace as benefits.

 

“VOLT was a greatopportunity,” said Parker. “It has already opened up a ton of doors for me. The instruction at VOLT

was hands-on and kept pace with students and the job placement assistance was beyond what any other

college would do. Thanks to VOLT I no longer just have a job- I have a career.”

 

Parker’s situation is not unique. In fact, VOLT boasts an 88% placement rate among graduates.

Opportunity Stanislaus CEO David White has been a driver of VOLT since the planning stages. “We

have come so far so fast and are excited about the momentum we’re gaining,” said White. “We have

the best equipment—machines that simulate industry facilities—and we have a team that is absolutely

committed to the success of the students. We look forward to great things.”

 

In addition to the 11-month Industrial Maintenance Mechanic program, VOLT also has a 3-month

Certified Production Technician program and workshops on a wide variety of business topics. Training

areas will continue to expand as the student population and capacity grows. “Stanislaus County Office

of Education has a tradition of preparing students for the workforce through education,” said Executive

Director Deb Rowe.

“VOLT is a great example of multi-sector partnership training, the industry

recognized certifications through VOLT qualify student for a living wage job which affirms we are

headed in the right direction to support our community and beyond.”

 

VOLT Institute recently made news when it was awarded $1,000,000 in the 2018-19 California State

Budget to expand training for high-demand careers in manufacturing, one of the county’s most critical

industries. The funding will support the expansion of an education and training partnership between

Modesto Junior College (MJC), Stanislaus County Office of Education (SCOE), and Opportunity

Stanislaus to prepare students for jobs based on employer demand. The grant will serve as the local

match necessary for a federal United States Department of Commerce, Economic Development

Administration grant.

 

New classes start October 8 and continue through September 5 of 2019. For more information or to

enroll please visit www.voltinstitute.com or call 209.566.9102.

Tulare Meat Locker earns top prize at national competition

Calley Cederlof,

Aug. 1, 2018

For the second year in a row, Danny Mendes, owner of Tulare Meat Locker & Sausage Co., took home several wins at the American Association of Meat Processors’ American Cured Meat Championships, held in Kansas City.

Except this go around, he came home with even more “hardware” to showcase at his Tulare shop.

Mendes won awards for five different meat products, one of which earned grand champion: his hot link sausage.

The sausage, which he recently dubbed the “Kansas City Red Hot” is the shop’s newest item on the menu. The sausage beat out 15 other competitors for the top spot, including a Kansas City local.

He is the first to win in the category, which was introduced this year, he said.

“I’m pretty proud of that,” Mendes said of the win. “Here I come from California and come out with grand champion.”

Danny Mendes, Tulare Meat Locker owner, took home top honors in several categories during the American Cured Meat Championships in Kansas City. His crew has been working on the selections for months.
Danny Mendes, Tulare Meat Locker owner, took home top honors in several categories during the American Cured Meat Championships in Kansas City. His crew has been working on the selections for months. (Photo: Eric Woomer/ Visalia Times-Delta,)

The hot-link is a regional item known mostly in Oklahoma and Texas, said Jon Frohling, past American Association of Meat Processors president.

“For a California boy to go down there and win that — it’s a big deal,” Frohling said. “Especially when you’re not eating it every day.”

Other awards earned by Mendes include reserve grand champions for his bone in ham and braunschweiger — a German liver sausage. His boneless ham won champion and his country dry cured bacon was crowned reserve champion.

Mendes said he is excited about the wins.

“It’s been great, especially in with the bone-in ham (category),” Mendes said. “That’s one that I’ve really been wanting to master.”

In total, Mendes brought 22 products to the event, which flew with him on the plane packed in ice.

This is only his second year at the competition. Last year, he earned grand champion for his smoked bratwurst sausage and reserve grand champion for his andouille sausage.

At the competition, products are judged on a 1,000-point scoring system. Judges score based on several factors including internal and external appearance, color, aroma and flavor — the most important of all, Frohling said.

“If you win at that show, you’ve got a great product,” he added.

Tulare Meat Locker & Sausage is one of only two shops in California to take home awards at this year’s event and is the smallest shop competing.

When he arrived home on Sunday, he was celebrated with family, friends and customers. It was also extra special, it was his birthday.

Danny Mendes, Tulare Meat Locker owner, took home top honors in several categories during the American Cured Meat Championships in Kansas City. His crew has been working on the selections for months.
Danny Mendes, Tulare Meat Locker owner, took home top honors in several categories during the American Cured Meat Championships in Kansas City. His crew has been working on the selections for months. (Photo: Eric Woomer/ Visalia Times-Delta,)

“My kids had signs that said, ‘welcome home Daddy,’ and we met up with family the next day,” Mendes said. “I got a lot of calls and texts. It was a warm welcoming for sure.”

Mendes also posted the news on Facebook, where customers and friends flooded him with congratulations messages.

“Not surprised because your meats are amazing and deserving of every one of these awards,” wrote Steven Jorgens.

Tulare Meat Locker & Sausage Co. offers custom butchering of livestock and fresh meat that isn’t sliced until ordered. Sausages, snack sticks, hams, tri-tip and linguica are also available.

In February, Mendes also took home 11 awards at the California Association of Meat Processors convention.

He’s already planning ahead to next summer when the national compeition will be held in Alabama.

For more information, call 688-2047 or visit the shop at 1531 E. Bardsley Ave. in Tulare.

https://www.visaliatimesdelta.com/story/news/2018/08/01/tulare-meat-locker-takes-home-top-prize-national-competition/872651002/

Fresno Food Expo opens with plenty of fancy food, drink and new name

Biggest cold storage in the Valley planning to get even bigger

It’s not your typical summer weather inside Fresno’s US Cold Storage. Temperatures can reach freezing or even as cold as -60 degrees.

US Cold Storage General Manager Kris Sali said, “Normally you can see your breath and glasses fog up, that’s part of the business.”

The Fresno business takes products mostly grown, or made in the Valley, and stores them in cold or freezing temperatures until they’re shipped out to stores.

Workers have to be dressed from head to toe for the cold work.

“It gets pretty cold. The guys do a good job of keeping the work going while in this kind of environment, but we have these heated suits, but its definitely a harsher environment than what people are used to, but in the summer its actually pretty nice,” said Sali.

About 120 million pounds of food is stored on shelves, from Wawona peaches to Challenge butter to McDonald’s hamburgers patties. The cold temperatures are vital to keeping the quality as it travels from the Valley across the nation and even across the world.

“We try to do the best we can to make sure the food is safe because people are going to eat this,” said Sali.

Besides holding the product, they also do flash freezing to -60 degrees.

More than 100 employees help run what is already the biggest cold storage in the Valley, and more will be hired for their new facility.

Because of the demand, US Cold Storage will be expanding. Their second facility in Fresno, just down the road, opens in August.

Valley Ventures helps entrepreneurs earn millions of dollars

Submitted by Geoff Thurner, Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Fresno State University

In its first year, the Valley Ventures Accelerator has helped 25 companies attract $10 million in sales and $9 million in investment capital. Participating companies include founders from Fresno as well as Chile, Brazil, and South Korea, with many continuing to maintain business relationships throughout the Central Valley.

The three-year program is coordinated by the International Center for Water Technology at Fresno State and provides guidance on sales, marketing, distribution and venture capital for emerging companies in the water, agriculture and energy technology fields.

Funding was made possible by a $500,000 federal grant through the Regional Innovation Strategies i6 Challenge and Seed Fund Support Grants competition and the BlueTechValley innovation cluster funded by the California Energy Commission.

Companies accepted into the program must demonstrate the potential to have region and industry economic impact, along with the ability to improve the efficient use of scarce natural resources. Other evaluation criteria include commercial value, environmental impact, fundability, leadership, potential return, personnel skills and scalability.

The previous cohort’s 13 companies included Agri-logix, AjO, Azadi, BioFiltro, BLH Aguatech, BoxPower, HerdDogg, Map Thread, Re-Nuble, Spooky Action, Sweep Energy, Tiny Farms and Waterfind.

“We look forward to continuing to attract a diverse group of new technologies,” said project coordinator Benjamin Francis. “The spring cohort showed great potential and included products and services that addressed problems such as renewable energy for disadvantaged communities, sustainable wastewater treatment, manufacturer equipment optimization, and even a sustainable alternate protein farming method involving crickets.”

One company, HerdDogg, used the campus farm to test its dairy cow ear tag technology that is also found in 10 states and in Australia, Brazil and Norway.

The unit sensor uploads physiological and GPS location data to the cloud online storage provider so managers can better track and monitor health and activity throughout the dairy.

The company’s founder and CEO, Melissa Brandao, fits the entrepreneurial pedigree that the cohort is trying to attract. She has worked the past decade on the development of specialty agriculture technologies; was the first female to found an electric vehicle company; and was one of 32 entrepreneurs and companies invited to participate in a White House Demo Day event in 2015.

“HerdDogg’s passion for animal welfare has helped the company enjoy a successful start, and is now looking to scale sales and increase its strategic activities with dairies throughout California,” Francis said. “HerdDogg utilized the Valley Ventures program to assist with improving sales, building a sales team, and raising a second round of funding.”

The Valley Ventures Accelerator is now accepting applications through August 1 for its third cohort.

The three-month cohort will select eight to 12 companies to participate in three, two-day sessions starting in September. The fall session will culminate in a final open-pitch demonstration in November to the public, industry members, campus faculty and staff and potential investors.

Participants will take part in exercises and learning modules led by professionals, investors, industry experts, successful entrepreneurs and target consumers. Guest speakers will also offer advice about the evolution of their successful companies at similar stages of customer and venture capital development.

For more information on the program, visit http://www.valleyventures.org or contact Benjamin Francis at 559.270.7121 or bfrancis@mail.fresnostate.edu.

 

https://campusnews.fresnostate.edu/july-16-2018/valley-ventures-helps-entrepreneurs-earn-millions-of-dollars

 

photo
(From left:) HerdDogg employee, Aaron Andrade; Ronaldo Brandao, Melissa Brandao’s husband; Ben Francis, project coordinator; and HerdDogg CEO/entrepreneur Melissa Brandao at the campus dairy.

Valley based juice shop looking to hire employees for new Fresno location

A Valley based juice shop is expanding and looking for new employees.

A Valley-based juice shop is expanding and looking for new employees.

Re-Invent Juicery is opening a store at Fig Garden Village next to CVS. The shop uses local and all-natural ingredients to make their cold press juices. Customers can also indulge in blended drinks and acai bowls.

It is their fourth location in the Fresno-Clovis area since they first opened for business in 2015. However, they did shut down their location on Ashlan and Fowler last month.

Re-Invent Juicery is currently hiring for their new location and is hoping to open on July 20th.

Rosa Brothers named Small Business of the Year

Rosa Bros small business day 2018
Noel Rosa, left, with Senator Andy Vidak (R-Hanford) during California Small Business Day in Sacramento on June 19. Vidak recognized Hanford-based Rosa Brothers Milk Company as Small Business of the Year in Senate District 14.

From hardware stores to manufacturers, small businesses are ingrained in California’s communities and economy, which is why Hanford’s Rosa Brothers Milk Company was recently recognized for its hard work and dedication to the community by being named Small Business of the Year.

“We are truly honored to be recognized by Senator Vidak on California Small Business Day,” Noel Rosa, president of Rosa Brothers Milk Company, said. “We have a great team of employees that work hard to produce the freshest, best-tasting milk products possible and we are happy to share our family’s farm fresh products with California consumers.”

On June 19, Rosa Brothers Milk Company was honored by Senator Andy Vidak (R-Hanford) at California Small Business Day as Small Business of the Year in Senate District 14.

“It was an honor to welcome Noel Rosa to the Capitol,” Vidak said. “Rosa Brothers Milk Company is an outstanding small business and we are lucky to have them in the Central Valley. Noel, Rolland and all of their employees have built their business into one of the best dairies in California and their high-quality products are very popular across the entire state.”

California Small Business Day honored 75 small businesses for their contribution to the state’s economy. According to the California Small Business Association, small businesses contribute to 75 percent of California’s gross state product and over half of the state’s private sector jobs.

“California’s small businesses are the economic engine of our state,” Betty Jo Toccoli, president of the California Small Business Association, said in a released statement. “Rosa Brothers Milk Company was celebrated for their successful small business and contributions to the community.”

Operated by brothers Noel and Rolland Rosa, third generation dairy farmers, the company began production of its milk and ice cream in September 2012 with just a handful of stores selling their products.

According to the company’s website, the creamery was built with a few goals in mind:

  • To provide California families with the best-tasting dairy products found anywhere in the world.
  • To provide safe, pure dairy products that have not been overly processed or modified.
  • To keep milk quickly flowing to local stores for maximum freshness.
  • To provide a truly local product that comes through a transparent channel, allowing families to watch the milk all the way from the cow to the bottle or ice cream carton.

The Rosa Brothers have tried to remain true to their roots by hiring local, buying local supplies and making local products.

“We’re a truly local company based right here in Hanford,” Noel Rosa said.

Today, Rosa Brothers Milk Company products, including over a dozen of both milk and ice cream flavors, can be found in over 750 locations throughout California and have won several awards at the Fresno Food Expo.

“Their story is one of inspiration and determination and they are a perfect example of how small businesses are the backbone of our economy and provide much needed jobs in our communities,” Vidak said.

Noel Rosa said everyone at the company was humbled by the recognition and is proud to be part of the local economy. Most of all, he said they are very thankful to community and all the support they’ve received over the years.

Study Ranks Wonderful Co. as Top Growth Leader in Produce, Consumer Packaged Goods

Wonderful Pistachios

Wonderful Pistachios

Los Angeles-based Wonderful Company was named the no. 1 growth leader in produce and no. 1 in consumer packaged goods last year, according to a study released June 14 by the Boston Consulting Group and market research firm IRI.

Wonderful Company, which grows, markets and sells pistachios, almonds, citrus fruits, pomegranates, bottled water, wine and floral arrangements, took the top spots among mid-sized U.S. companies with sales between $1 billion and $5.5 billion.

“The Wonderful Company is relentlessly focused on driving healthier eating options,” said Adam Cooper, vice president of marketing for the Wonderful Company, in a statement. “Over the past 10 years, we’ve invested more than $3 billion in capital and $1 billion in marketing and brand building. With these investments, and consumers increasingly seeking nutritious choices, Wonderful is poised for even more growth in the future.”

According to the BCG report, Wonderful and other consumer packaged goods companies saw sales rise thanks to developing a range of offerings, targeting consumers, growing their portfolios and expanding into new markets.

“The market continues to be sluggish, but in identifying this year’s CPG growth leaders, we found that there are clear steps companies can take to uncover areas of growth,” said Peri Edelstein, a BCG partner and coauthor of the study, in a statement. “This includes developing a deep understanding of consumer demand, innovating to meet new occasions and using pricing strategically to enhance volume growth instead of as a tactic to drive dollar growth.”

The report looked at more than 400 public and private consumer packaged goods companies with annual U.S. retail sales of more than $100 million. The companies were ranked on dollar sales growth, volume sales growth and market share gains.

Privately held Wonderful Co. is a $4 billion company with 9,000 employees worldwide. Its brands include Wonderful Pistachios, Wonderful Halos, POM Wonderful, FIJI Water, Justin Wine and Teleflora.

The company is owned by Stewart and Lynda Resnick, who are ranked no. 7 on the Los Angeles Business Journal’s list of Wealthiest Angelenos with an estimated net worth of $6.5 billion.

http://labusinessjournal.com/news/2018/jun/14/study-ranks-wonderful-co-top-growth-leader-produce/