Nemat Inc. Unveiling Solar System for Industrial Application

by Bobby Kahn
July 14th

Madera, California

NematInc. is unveiling a 150 KW-DC solar system at their headquarters facility in Madera, CA. Owner Mike Nematwill also be celebrating the Grand Opening of his new company, Lean Solar. Lean Solar is a developer, manufacturer, and installer of “turnkey” high quality modular ground-mount solar systems for industrial applications. Nemat says his solar system is 30% less than market price and will save customers up to 70% of their energy costs. The system is an ownership program. Nemat is also considering offering financing programs with a 5-6 year purchase option. The down payment can be covered by a 30% tax credit offered by the federal government.

Lean Solar manages the entire project including; concept design, system design, municipalities permit process, manufacturing, installation, and interconnection with utility companies. The entire project is implemented in 45-60 days. This is achieved through their modular design and manufacturing, as well as pre-assembled installation. The system is designed and made in the USA and has a 20 year warranty.

The new venture will expand their operations in Madera and double their employment of 35.

Nemat Inc. Unveiling Solar System for Industrial Application

What: Grand Opening of Nemat Inc.’s, Lean Solar Company and the unveiling of their 150 KW pilot solar system
When: 10 a.m., Friday, July 14th
Where: Nemat Inc. – 19225 Road 24, Madera, CA 93638

(Madera, California) – Nemat Inc. is unveiling a 150 KW-DC solar system at their headquarters facility in Madera, CA. Owner Mike Nemat will also be celebrating the Grand Opening of his new company, Lean Solar. Lean Solar is a developer, manufacturer, and installer of “turnkey” high quality modular ground-mount solar systems for industrial applications. Nemat says his solar system is 30% less than market price and will save customers up to 70% of their energy costs. The system is an ownership program. Nemat is also considering offering financing programs with a 5-6 year purchase option. The down payment can be covered by a 30% tax credit offered by the federal government.

Lean Solar manages the entire project including; concept design, system design, municipalities permit process, manufacturing, installation, and interconnection with utility companies. The entire project is implemented in 45-60 days. This is achieved through their modular design and manufacturing, as well as pre-assembled installation. The system is designed and made in the USA and has a 20 year warranty.

The new venture will expand their operations in Madera and double their employment of 35.

Three new brewers set their sights on Downtown Fresno

Central California

February 10, 2017
Written by Valerie Shelton

A trio of new brewers are looking to locate production of craft beer to Downtown Fresno, joining trailblazer Tioga-Sequoia.A trio of new brewers are looking to locate production of craft beer to Downtown Fresno, joining trailblazer Tioga-Sequoia.With revitalization efforts well underway in Downtown Fresno, and the success of long-time local breweries Tioga-Sequoia and Full Circle Brewing, other brewers are getting ready to plant their flag near new Fulton Street and revolutionize the area.

Already on tap for some time, Sanger brewery House of Pendragon, which has a popular tasting room in Clovis, is teaming up with Visalia restaurant and gastropub Pita Kabob to bring HoP/PK to an old two-story sports bar located at 820 Van Ness Ave. After more than a year of renovation, the long-awaited 32-tap bar and Mediterranean restaurant is finally set to open by June.

While excitement mounts for HoP/PK, three brand new breweries have also announced plans to establish roots in Downtown Fresno this year.

In January, Border Hop Brewing signed a lease on a 9,600 square-foot building at 721 Broadway St. in the South Stadium District. And just down the street, at 411 Broadway St., another business has signed on to bring a brewery and the city’s first craft distillery under the company name 411 Broadway Ales and Spirits. A third operation, Zack’s Brewing, is currently assessing a property a mile and a half away in the Mural District.

Meanwhile, Downtown Fresno’s two existing breweries are gearing up for expansion. Tioga-Sequoia recently acquired the 14,000 square-foot Amvets building on Inyo and Broadway streets next to its current beer garden and taproom on 745 Fulton St. And under new ownership, Full Circle Brewing is planning to expand its beer selection and production with hopes to bring bottles to local stores.

These stirring plans are just the beginning according to Downtown Fresno Partnership President and CEO Aaron Blair.

“The craft beer industry is starting to boom in Downtown Fresno, and this is a very important part of our success,” Blair said. “They contribute to place making, are growth-oriented exporters and attract tourists. Craft beer is the perfect fit for the ever-changing downtown culture and creative spirit.”

Tioga-Sequoia — the trailblazer

Home of the General Sherman IPA, 99 Golden Ale, and other beers featuring a local moniker, Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Co.’s beer garden has been a popular downtown hangout since 2010. A great place to grab a cold one after a Grizzlies game, the brewery’s outdoor patio has been known to draw hundreds, and even thousands, of craft beer enthusiasts downtown to events like FresYes Fest.

With an additional 14,000 square-foot building at its disposal, Tioga-Sequoia Marketing Manager Michael Cruz said the brewery plans to enhance its current beer garden and ramp up its production.

Currently, Cruz said, Tioga-Sequoia produces close to 9,000 barrels annually, but theoretically, Tioga-Sequoia now has the capacity to produce upwards of 40,000 barrels.

“The top 50 breweries in the country are producing around 80,000 barrels, so this is significant,” Cruz said. “Of course, capacity is one thing and being able to sell that much is another.”

Phase one of expansion plans, Cruz said, is to move all production and storage into the new facility, creating more space for guests at the beer garden. New tanks and upgraded equipment will also be added to steadily increase production, while the beer garden will get a facelift with upgraded aesthetics, such as façade improvements.

Moving into phase two, Cruz said Tioga-Sequoia plans to continue adding tanks and upgrading equipment, and there is a possibility an indoor tasting room could be added for special events. In the beer garden, he said, phase two will come after purchasing the property or renegotiating the lease. The hope, he said, is to add permanent restroom facilities, a pergola, heaters/coolers, misters and other more permanent changes.

In stretching its downtown roots, Cruz said Tioga-Sequoia wants to continue bringing attention to Fresno.

“It was a conscious decision to plant our flag here. Now we want to grow our roots even deeper and help aid the cause of downtown by being a beacon for change,” Cruz said.

Cruz said Tioga-Sequoia is happy to see other breweries choosing to set up shop downtown as well.

“Breweries get along well together,” Cruz said. “The best part is we all know each other. These are local brewers, not big out-of-town brewers who don’t understand the culture, so I think our businesses will all be successful downtown as we support one another.”

An old favorite comes Full Circle

Arthur Moye, one of the new co-owners of Downtown Fresno’s oldest modern brewpub, Full Circle Brewing Co., which first opened its doors in an 8,700 square-foot warehouse on F Street in 2000, said he too is excited to see new breweries headed downtown.

“Revitalization is all about the density of stuff to do, and if there is cool stuff going on in close proximity to Full Circle and more people coming downtown, that is good for us,” Moye said, adding that he envisions an original craft beer community in Fresno that can sustain around 30 breweries.

As others breweries get established downtown, Moye said Full Circle Brewing is focusing on broadening its influence in the craft beer community by bottling its beers to sell in Central Valley liquor stores. To make this possible, three tanks are being added to the Full Circle Brewing system.

Most likely, bottled selections will include Full Circle’s keynote, the Juicy Northeastern IPA, and its flagship Cluster Fuggle Cream Ale, and one rotating seasonal beer.

Almonds from Escalon fuel NASCAR driver

Central California 

Published 4/12/17
Modesto Bee
BY JOHN HOLLAND

A longtime almond processor has launched a snack label aimed in part at motorsports fans. And it is sponsoring a stock car racer who is among the rising stars.

Nut Up, an offshoot of the Roche family’s four-generation business, has 10 flavors of chopped almonds in 1.5-ounce bags available at many grocery stores. It is promoting them with the help of Dylan Lupton, a Sacramento-area product racing on the NASCAR Xfinity circuit this year.

He said by phone Thursday that the nuts are part of a healthy diet that helps him endure the rigors of his sport, including 130-degree-plus temperatures inside his fireproof suit.

“These NASCAR races are pretty grueling,” Lupton said. “You have to be very conscious of what you fuel your body with.”

The Nut Up logo on his suit and car will be the most prominent among his sponsors for at least some of this year’s races, he said. Nut Up also is working with motocross and other motorcycling events.

The new products come from Roche Brothers International Family Nut Co., on Jones Road east of Escalon. President Joey Roche, who long has supported motorsports, partnered on the venture with almond broker Brad Klump.

“In the racing community, there’s not a lot of healthy snacks, so the kids need it,” Roche said during a tour of the plant Wednesday.

Roche Brothers employs about 140 people year-round at the plant and in the orchards. Most of its 20 million or so pounds of annual volume is basic products for the world market. A small part goes to Nut Up, the company’s first retail brand.

The almonds come in garlic-parmesan, ranch, lemon, barbecue, cinnamon toast, salted caramel, Caribbean jerk and a few other choices.

Nut Up also has almond butter in plain, salted caramel and cinnamon toast versions, along with almond flour and meal for cooking.

The products are at Save Mart, Food Maxx, Cost Less, O’Brien’s and a few other grocers. In-Shape fitness centers around the state sell them. So do the Ace hardware stores in Escalon and Oakdale, and the Menard’s hardware chain in the Midwest.

The nuts can be bought online at www.nutupindustries.com.

The sweet ones can be an ice cream topping and the savory ones can go on salads, Operations Manager Haily Azevedo said on the tour. She also suggested rubbing Caribbean jerk almonds onto chicken.

Or, the snack bags can just be part of the meal plan for a family headed to the racetrack.

“We needed to get the younger kids to try almonds,” Roche said. “It’s cool to eat almonds.”

Bronco Wine expansion, with 30 new jobs, wins support

Central California

 May 5, 2017
Modesto Bee
By John Holland

Bronco Wine Co. got support Thursday night for a major expansion at its headquarters south of Ceres — and praise for a notable product.

The Stanislaus County Planning Commission voted 7-0 for a rezoning that will ease the way for new warehouse and office space. The Board of Supervisors will make the final decision on the plan, expected to create about 30 jobs at the Keyes Road site.

Bronco markets its wines under dozens of labels and also sells bulk wine to other producers. It is best known for Charles Shaw, which first sold for $1.99 at Trader Joe’s stores and came to be known as Two Buck Chuck. It’s now up to $2.99.

Commissioner Katherine Borges recalled that a 2005 version was named best chardonnay at the California State Fair. It competed against about 350 higher-priced bottles.

Borges suggested that Bronco add a tasting room, but company representative Dan Leonard said that is not in the plan.

“It’s a production facility supporting ag, supporting grapes,” said Leonard, a vice president and treasurer.

Bronco, founded in 1974, is one of the nation’s largest wine producers. The Keyes Road site does crushing, fermenting, aging and bottling of a large part of its volume. About 325 people work there year-round, and seasonal employees can bring the total to 550.

Leonard declined to say how much the expansion will cost. The first phase, taking up to five years, includes a 120,000-square-foot warehouse that is part of an eventual 613,000 square feet of new storage. This phase also involves two spurs from the Union Pacific Railroad line next to the site, which Leonard said would cut down on truck traffic.

Bronco plans to move into the later phases as wine sales grow. They include 81,000 square feet for offices and other space for training and other needs.

Dust Bowl Brewing Company Extends Distribution in California

Central California

Published  February 13, 2017

Dust Bowl Brewing Company recently signed with Premium Beverage Company, expanding the growing brewery’s distribution into California’s Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito counties.

Founded in 2005, Premium Beverage is based in Salinas, California and distributes domestic, craft and imported beers along with ciders and an extensive portfolio of non-alcoholic products. Premium Beverage services all major chains, independent grocers, restaurants, liquor stores and convenience stores. Dust Bowl Brewing Co. joins other leading craft brands including Rogue, Shiner and Trumer to name a few.

“Now that we are fully operational in our new brewery, we are poised to grow our distribution. Our ability to brew significantly more beer allows us to aggressively pursue new territories as we navigate the competitive craft beer industry,” shares founder, Brett Tate. “Premium Beverage Company shares our same commitment to superior customer service and is aligned with our growth strategy. The timing is ideal.”

“We’re excited to add Dust Bowl Brewing Company to our portfolio,” adds John Holt, President, Premium Beverage Co. “The Central Valley brewery has experienced impressive sales growth since its inception in 2009 and is committed to expanding their product offering even more in 2017. Their brand recognition is on the rise, they produce quality beer and they’re clearly invested in the future. Dust Bowl is an excellent fit with our craft beer model.”

Dust Bowl Brewing Co. produces a wide range of draft beer along with a portfolio of year-around and limited-release bottled products. The company opened its new brewery, located in Turlock, California, in June 2016 and plans to produce 15,000-20,000 barrels in the first year, compared to 5,000 barrels in 2015.

In addition to Premium Beverage Company, Dust Bowl Brewing Co. currently has six other distributors: Delta Sierra Beverage covers the California Central Valley, Mussetter Distributing handles the Sacramento region, Delta Pacific covers the Fresno region, Morris Distributing handles San Francisco and the North Bay, Bay Area Distributing services Contra Costa and Alameda counties and Barone Distribution covers the state of Nevada.

Current expansion plans include further south down the Central Coast, Southern California and into the Pacific Northwest.

Dust Bowl Brewing Company produced its first beer in May 2009. The Company forecasts 15,000-20,000 barrels annual production. Dust Bowl Brewing Company beers are available in 5 and 15.5 gallon kegs along with selected styles in 22oz. and 12oz. bottles. Distribution includes Central and Northern California, Nevada and Vermont. The craft brewery showcases a wide variety of its beers at its two Turlock, Calif. taproom locations, Brewery Taproom and Downtown Taproom. More information may be found at www.dustbowlbrewing.com.

Which comes first, the chicken, the egg or the egg-production facility?

Central California
It will be the largest egg-production facility Kern County has ever seen, housing more than 3 million chickens and at its peak, producing more than 36 million eggs per month. And all done 100 percent cage-free. Already under construction on Gun Club Road, northwest of Wasco, the facility developed by Central Valley Eggs LLC will be massive, totaling more than 700,000 square feet.

Ulta bringing part of its billion-dollar business to Fresno

Central California

The Fresno Bee
BY TIM SHEEHAN
PUBLISHED MARCH 10, 2017

Ulta Beauty and the city of Fresno officially announced Friday that the cosmetics company has chosen Fresno as the site of a large distribution center that will initially employ more than 500 workers and could swell to more than 1,000 employees with seasonal hires during busy periods.

The joint statement issued by the company and the city confirmed what The Bee reported Tuesday about Ulta’s selection of Fresno for a 670,500-square-foot warehouse to be built in south Fresno. Carolyn Sutphen, a spokeswoman for Ulta, said the distribution center is expected to hire an initial workforce of 542 when it opens in the summer of 2018. It will be built at the northwest corner of East and Central avenues.

Ulta is a growing business that last year reported net sales of $4.8 billion.

The company had identified Fresno last fall as its preferred site, but Ulta representatives told the state in November that the firm was also considering sites in Visalia, Bakersfield, Nevada and Utah. The $110 million distribution center will serve 400 stores and handle fulfillment of online orders from throughout the western United States. Ulta has five other distribution centers in Illinois, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Texas. The Fresno center will be Ulta’s first and only one in California.

“This is exactly the shot in the arm that Fresno needs to energize our economy and keep our momentum headed in a positive direction,” Fresno Mayor Lee Brand said in the joint statement. “We’re pleased that Ulta Beauty recognizes the value of our location. …”

As a city councilman last year, Brand was the author of the city’s Economic Expansion Act, which provides for rebates of sales and property taxes, along with other incentives, for companies that relocate to or expand in the city to create new jobs for local residents. In November, working under Brand’s act, the Fresno City Council approved a 30-year package of incentives – chiefly a partial rebate of sales taxes – worth up to $18 million to attract Ulta. To qualify for the city’s incentives, Ulta must create the equivalent of at least 500 full-time jobs at the Fresno center within five years. If the company fails to achieve that by the end of 2022, it would have to repay whatever rebates it had received to that point.

Also in November, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development agreed to provide $8 million in California Competes tax credits to Ulta if it chose a site in California, conditioned on the net creation of 542 full-time jobs in the state.

An economic analysis of the Ulta project that was commissioned by the city last year estimated that Fresno stands to realize about $42 million in additional sales and property tax revenue, even after the incentives.

Ulta, based in Illinois, has almost 980 stores in 48 states; in the Valley, the company has two stores in Fresno and one each in Clovis, Visalia, Hanford and Porterville.

“We are pleased to be expanding in Fresno with a new distribution center that supports our company’s growth strategy and brings additional jobs to the community,” Ulta CEO Mary Dillon said in the joint statement. “This will allow us to continue to grow our stores and e-commerce business. …”

Sutphen, the Ulta spokeswoman, said the company will begin posting job openings on its website closer to the completion and opening date.

Company growing

In its financial results released Thursday for the fourth quarter of 2016, Ulta announced that its sales – both in-store and online – have been growing at a significant clip. The company reported more than $1.58 billion in net sales during the quarter, up almost 25 percent compared with the fourth quarter of 2015. Its e-commerce sales grew even faster, up more than 63 percent compared with a year earlier and amounting to $154.9 million for the quarter. For the entire year, online orders represented $345.3 million in sales for Ulta.

While the city and Ulta waited until Friday to make the formal announcement, the company’s choice wasn’t exactly top secret. Clayco, the Chicago-based contractor that will build the distribution center, already has a construction office on the site, and renderings on the company’s website identified Ulta as the tenant for the building. Clayco’s website indicates that construction is expected to be done by the end of 2017.

Additionally, the careers page of Ulta’s website included a job opening for a human resources director for the Fresno distribution center.

Ulta isn’t the only potential big fish for which the city has baited its economic hook. In December, a month after approving the enticements for Ulta, the Fresno City Council approved a similar Economic Expansion Act package of incentives for Golden State FC LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of online retail giant Amazon.com. That package of incentives, including rebates of sales and property taxes, has a cap of $30 million over 30 years.

Larry Westerlund, the city’s economic development director, said Amazon deemed Fresno its preferred site for a $200 million, 855,000-square-foot e-commerce fulfillment center that would employ at least 750 workers and potentially hire up to 1,750 employees. There is, however, no word on when Amazon may make a decision on the location.

Brand traveled to Seattle late last week to meet with Amazon officials to pitch the Fresno site. The would-be location for that facility is less than a half mile from the Ulta site, in the North Pointe Business Park near Central and Orange avenues, and was formerly under consideration last year by clothing retailer Nordstrom for a distribution center. Nordstrom has put on hold any decision on a center in the Valley.

Organic meal kit service eyes Fresno for distribution center, 356 jobs

Central California

Published on 06/09/2017
Written by Gabriel Dillard and John Lindt 

Green Chef, an organic meal kit service, is eyeing Fresno for a distribution center that could hire up to 356 people. Image via Green ChefA Colorado-based organic food delivery service has its sights set on Fresno for a distribution center that could eventually employ 356 people with an average full-time salary of $30,000.

Green Chef Corp., a subscription meal kit service founded in 2014 that specializes in organically-sourced food, is up for a $2.5 million California Competes tax credit with plans to invest $17.2 million in a Fresno delivery hub, according to the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (Go-Biz).

Amazon breaks ground on Fresno fulfillment center

Central California

Published On June 19, 2017 
The Business Journal
Written By David Castellon

 

In case it wasn’t obvious to the dozens of city, county, state and Fresno-area business leaders gathered late this morning on the edge of a dirt field along Fresno’s southern tip, Kelvin Downes told them why they were there.

“Well, it’s official. Amazon’s coming to Fresno,” Downes, head of West Coast operations for Amazon’s fulfillment centers, told the crowd, repeating the announcement the online sales giant announced at the start of the month.

As for the crowd, it was gathered for the groundbreaking of the planned 855,000-square foot building that will house Amazon’s tenth California fulfillment center, where items purchased on Amazon.com are shipped out to customers.

Fresno was selected, in part, because of its location between Southern California and the Bay Area, as well as its proximity to major freeways to Northern California, Oregon and Washington, as well as parts of Nevada.

Because of the company’s focus on two-day shipping under its Amazon Prime program, Downes said most of the goods shipped from the Fresno Fulfillment Center will go to locales on West Coast, but it also will ship goods across the country.

“The support we’ve received from the city, the county and the state on this project has been phenomenal,” said Downes, who specifically thanked, among others, current Mayor Lee Brand — a city councilman for Fresno when the project first was proposed — and former mayor Ashley Swearengin, who was in the audience for the groundbreaking.

“Look around you. This is the future of Fresno, and it all begins with Amazon,” Brand told the crowd gathered under a tent and handed bottles of cold water, providing some relief from the day’s heat as it approached the triple digits.

“This is the game changer,” he said of Amazon locating a fulfillment center here, adding that “It changes the narrative for Fresno.”

The fulfillment center will be built in the 3500 block of Orange Avenue, on the edge an industrial park that includes the new 670,500-square-foot distribution center for Ulta Beauty, which is under construction next door to the planned Amazon site.

Ulta is expected to employ more than 500 people initially and possibly grow that number to about 1,000, while Downes said Amazon expects to employ more than 1,500 people here from the start.

He said that besides offering competitive pay, the employees’ compensation package will include stock options and a program that could pay up to 95 percent of their college tuitions.

Downes noted that the $150 million facility will be among Amazon’s largest fulfillment centers, and it will include a large contingent of robotic devices to pull and pack items, alongside the human “Amazonians” working there.

Brand has announced that he wants to parlay Amazon and Ulta choosing to build distribution centers here as selling points to help promote Fresno as a prime spot for distribution centers.

In fact, he said the city is will try to locate such businesses and other types of large industry to the “triangle” of vacant parcels near the junctions of highways 41 and 99, neighboring the Ulta and Amazon sites.

Both Downs and Brand praised the work of Swearingen for helping get the ball rolling to bring Amazon to Fresno.

For her part, Swearingen said it wasn’t as daunting a task as some might expect, because she and other city leaders had been preparing the parcel — which included connecting water and sewer lines and other infrastructure close by — for a group of other interested developers who ended up pulling out.

So the land was practically “shovel ready” for a large development when Amazon — “We didn’t know it was Amazon at the time. We only knew it was a large developer” — approached city officials with an interest in locating here in late 2015.

“We were really prepared and able to push this locale,” Swearingen said, adding that the city also had prepared tax incentives for the other developers and used them as a template for offering tax incentives to Amazon.

Those incentives will total $30 million over 30 years, part of that in the form of partial reimbursements for the city’s portion of property taxes Amazon will pay, along with 100 percent of the city taxes paid by developers when they purchase construction machinery and building material, said Larry Westerlund, Fresno’s economic development director.

But the deal will be contingent on Amazon employing at least 750 people — half of its planned workforce — here, he and Brand noted.

Brand said those tax incentives should be offset by the economic benefits from the people working at the Amazon Fulfillment Center, as will goods and services purchased locally by Amazon, adding more jobs and economic gains for the area.

During his speech, Downes said that Amazon tries to be a good neighbors wherever the company locates, and in that vein announced the donation of $10,000 to the Fresno County Library system to help fund its DigiBus, essentially a computer center in a bus offering computer classes and computers for the public to use in different locations.

Dermody Propeties, a New Jersey-based capital development firm that is partially funding the new Amazon facility and will lease it to Amazon once construction is complete, provided a matching $10,000 donation to DigiBus.