Since acquiring Hagemann Meats in Santa Rosa in August, Golden Gate Meat Co. is making major upgrades to the outdated plant.
The long-time San Francisco family-run company hopes to expand into niche markets not being currently served in the area, according to Jonni Offenbach, who runs the company with her father Jim and his wife Patty.
“My father and I are onsite now and intend to be here for the next couple of years to oversee the renovation and expansion,” she said.
Already they’ve brought in people from San Francisco and added new hires to bring the 13-employee staff up to 27. Former owner Roy Hagemann and his daughter Erin are still at the plant, and none of his employees will be let go, she said.
New shelving, counters, tables and lighting are in evidence to customers; the break room and office are being remodeled; and new equipment has been installed. The warehouse and meat storage areas are all being upgraded.
The 8,500-square-foot building is located at 1095 South A St. in Santa Rosa.
Patty Offenbach declined to state how much money the family is planning to put into the job.
“I really don’t know at this point. It’s an ongoing project,” she said.
Golden Gate Meat doesn’t slaughter animals. That’s done by USDA-approved Rancho Veal in Petaluma. But they’ll custom cut, wrap and deliver all animals, including poultry and some fish.
“We’re already stocked with hanging meat,” said Ms. Offenbach. “With our own North Bay customers added to Hagemann’s, we’re now serving about 250, and we hope to expand the customer base by going after smaller, niche customers.”
Once strong, the meat processing industry in the Sonoma, Napa, Marin area has dwindled down to only two operations that handle more than poultry. The other is Sonoma Direct, a small processor in Petaluma, the only one listed by the state Employment Development Department in the three counties.
GGMC has a retail operation at the Ferry Terminal in San Francisco along with its original processing plant on Seventh Street in the city. Golden Gate North is its first new plant.
“We won’t have retail, but walk-ins are welcome,” said Ms. Offenbach.
All three locations specialize in natural and organic meats and support humane treatment of animals. GGMC has a ranching partner in Montana where it raises growth hormone- and antibiotic-free Angus cattle.