Straus Family Creamery announced that it is moving its processing plant from their current location in West Marin to Rohnert Park by next year. The change comes as Straus celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. The company hopes that this move will enable them to accommodate the next 25 years of growth.
“The current manufacturing facility in Marshall was nearing capacity,” says Albert Straus, Founder and CEO of Straus Family Creamery and Organic Dairy Farmer. “Also, we’re trying to create a work-life balance for our employees. The location of the existing plant is a long drive for many employees who work there and this move will reduce their commute by approximately one hour each day.”
Not only will the new site, located behind the Press Democrat building in Rohnert Park, be more convenient for Straus employees, it also accommodates the company’s needs as an organic dairy processor and supports their long-term vision and goals. They found the city of Rohnert Park to be supportive throughout the process.
“Rohnert Park has been very welcoming to us,” says Straus. “We’ve had a lot of positive feedback from the community and elected officials.”
Straus expects to break ground on the $20 million, 70,000 square-foot structure by the end of April or early May, and anticipates beginning operations in the new facility at the start of the second quarter of 2020, transitioning out of the old facility by the end of that quarter. The new plant will be built from scratch and will have the capacity to almost double their current production of 16,000 gallons of milk per day, while doing so much more efficiently. The 300-cow Straus dairy farm will remain at the current Marshall location in Marin County.
Currently, Straus Family Creamery’s product line includes milk and cream in reusable glass bottles, yogurt, butter, sour cream, ice cream and a variety of wholesale and specialty dairy products that are distributed throughout the Western United States. The company prides itself on offering minimally processed certified organic dairy products from organic premium milk supplied by family farms in Marin and Sonoma Counties. The new facility will allow Straus to increase capacity for their current products, as well as continue to innovate and introduce additional items to their product line.
“The new facility will house processing and packaging for all Straus Family Creamery organic dairy products, along with offices, training spaces and our maintenance shop,” says Straus. “The new design will allow us to become even more efficient as a manufacturer, enhancing our abilities to utilize new technologies related to water capture and reuse, heat recapture and to implement more sustainable processes for cleaning the plant…It will enable us to continue our innovation in sustainability, consistent with our history of doing business right by tapping new advancements in sustainable production processes.”
From its inception in 1994, Albert Straus created a mission, vision and values that focused on sustaining the organic family farming community, using dairy farming as a solution to fight climate change and revitalizing rural communities everywhere through advocacy and education. He envisioned a dairy farming system that is both environmentally friendly and economically feasible and established a system that would both help family farms as well as support the surrounding rural communities.
Today, Straus has collaborative relationships with the nine independently owned, certified organic dairy family farms that supply the Creamery with organic milk. The model ensures stable milk pricing and less volatility in the marketplace. With almost 90 percent of the dairy farms in Marin and Sonoma Counties currently being certified organic, the company hopes that other processors and farms in other areas of the country will replicate their model, for the good of the people and planet.
Currently the company employs 130 people, and they expect to be hiring several more at the new location. Interested applicants are encouraged to review current job openings in the career section of their website, at www.strausfamilycreamery.com.