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Manufacturer opens to customers

Posted: December 16, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 16, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Amber Smith reads the box of a Creation’s Garden product at the company’s warehouse in Valencia.  Amber Smith reads the box of a Creation’s Garden product at the company’s warehouse in Valencia. 
Amber Smith reads the box of a Creation’s Garden product at the company’s warehouse in Valencia. 

A local manufacturer has decided to open its warehouse doors to customers once a month in an effort to expand its customer base.

Creation’s Garden, an organic health and beauty manufacturer in Castaic, allows customers to shop directly from its fulfillment center in the Valencia Industrial Center on Saturdays and will soon add special guest speakers on topics such as natural health and fitness.

Founder and CEO Dino Guglielmelli said the company sells directly to customers, but the warehouse openings let customers see first-hand the benefits of buying directly from the manufacturer.

“Basically you can go through and pick your product and it’s much cheaper than a retail facility,” Guglielmelli said. “Employees take advantage of this already, so we decided to make it available to the public on a limited basis.”

Guglielmelli started out in Santa Clarita working at an aerospace manufacturer, until he decided to start Creation’s Garden on Lyons Avenue in Newhall in 1993. He originally intended to franchise the store. But the store’s products couldn’t earn a certified organic label so Guglielmelli decided to make his own organic products.

“So I went back to manufacturing, which is where my heart is,” he said.

It wasn’t actually until two years ago that Creation’s Garden started selling its own label of organic products; for the first 15 years, the company was manufacturing for other clients.”

“I built my core customer base around products for 100 different customers on a contract manufacturing basis,” Guglielmelli said.

The company made its big break in the late ’90s when it nabbed the Trader Joe’s contract to manufacturer the grocery chain’s line of products, he said. Since then, Creation’s Garden has experienced exponential and consistent growth, Guglielmelli said, on par with the nation’s organic product trends.

Organic food sales increased from $1 billion nationwide in 1990 to $26.7 billion in 2010, according to the Organic Trade Association and even in the middle of the recession, all U.S. organic sales increased 10 percent from 2009 to 2010.

Just this past year, Creation’s Garden added 100 employees, putting the total at 420. With six buildings in Santa Clarita, the company occupies a total of 190,000 square feet.

The monthly warehouse openings to the public will help Creation’s Garden continue to increase its base of customers that enjoy the benefits of buying direct from the manufacturer.

“By opening up the direct warehouse environment, people would welcome the fact that, especially in these economic times, you don’t have to pay an exorbitant price,” Guglielmelli said. “It’s really about education and just giving something back to the community as best we can.




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