Consumer goods manufacturer 1908 Brands Inc. is phasing out two product brands it still controls—Schultz Gourmet’s marinades, sauces, and rubs line and Jay’s Pasta Sauce brand—and is focusing on the company’s growing Boulder Clean line of home cleaning products. products.
“We are officially exiting the food business,” 1908 Brands founder and CEO Steve Savage told BizWest Tuesday.
While Savage’s company may have done away with its food brands, the man himself is still part owner of Pasta Jay’s sauce company. 1908 Brands sold this part of the business to a new company controlled by Savage and Pasta Jay founder Jay Elovsky.
The two food brands, remnants of 1908 Brands’ previously broader food portfolio, “were profitable and fairly easy to maintain,” Savage said. But the limited shelf life of foodstuffs has made the industry tougher compared to the cleaners that Boulder Clean runs.
“You can do larger production runs (with cleaners) which lowers costs,” Savage said.
With increased attention to Boulder Clean, which is expanding its footprint in retail, Pasta Jay sauces will become “kind of a side project” in which Savage will retain its share and board seat. It will provide advisory services as needed.
“Jay (Elovski) knows the sauce, and he knows his restaurant,” which has been a staple on Pearl Street for decades, said Savage, whose new role will be less practical in everyday life.
The Schultz Gourmet brand was taken over by Tom Hanchin, a former chief executive of Lafayette-based fiber-optic cable maker CCX Corp., said Savage, who will not retain any ownership interest in Schultz.
Brands, born in Boulder in 1908, moved its manufacturing operations to Aurora this year, more than doubling its footprint.
The move to a roughly 50,000-square-foot facility at 16401 E. 33rd Drive in Aurora places 1908 Brands’ new warehouse and operations center next to Vision Chemical Systems Inc., a key supplier of chemical blending services.
The Surface Cleaning Refill Starter Kit, which includes refillable glass aerosol cans and cleaning chemical tablets that the consumer mixes with water, was awarded the Expo West 2022 NEXTY award. Expo West, hosted by the Boulder-based New Hope Network, is the largest trade show in the natural and organic food industry.
“This is the future of home cleaning,” Savage said of reusables and concentrates, “so it’s pretty exciting.”
According to him, the younger generation is demanding more environmentally friendly cleaning products.
The home cleaner category is not without its challenges, especially in an era of inflation and supply chain disruptions.
“Costs are skyrocketing,” Savage said, estimating the increase in material costs by about 35%.
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