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Home Chef Announces Move to New State-of-the-Art Production Center in San Bernardino County

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San Bernardino County (July 31, 2019) – Home Chef, one of the largest meal kit delivery companies in the U.S., is expanding in San Bernardino County, nearly tripling the size of its operations. Based in Chicago, Home Chef will relocate its West Coast production facility to 200,000-square-feet of space at 1445 S. Tippecanoe Avenue in San Bernardino to even better serve their ever-increasing customer base. The innovative, fast-growing company has been doing business in the city of San Bernardino since 2015. With this move, Home Chef will retain more than 300 existing jobs in San Bernardino, with expansion planned to follow the move.

Home Chef offers a variety of different meal kits that fit into varying levels of preparation and cooking times, including an Oven-Ready line that comes packed in an oven-safe tin eliminating the need for a pan, and a Heat & Eat line that can be warmed in five minutes or less. Home Chef’s new state-of-the-art space will help accommodate both the e-commerce and retail branches of the business.

“Our secret sauce has always been our customer-first approach,” said Pat Vihtelic, Home Chef’s founder and CEO. “Everything about our experience is designed with the customer at the center. By keeping our West Coast facility in San Bernardino, we will be able to continue to provide the best possible cooking experience.”

The San Bernardino County Economic Development Agency proactively worked to keep Home Chef in the county. The agency facilitated key meetings between Home Chef and its various resource partners such as the city of San Bernardino, GO-Biz and the San Bernardino County Workforce Development Agency, to ensure the company could take advantage of a number of incentives.

“We are proud to call the city of San Bernardino our West Coast home. We look forward to creating more jobs and continuing to make a positive impact on the local community,” said Alice Thompson, Home Chef’s chief operating officer. “We have an incredible team recruited from the San Bernardino area. Maintaining that team was top of mind as we determined where to expand our West Coast presence.”

The county also provided assistance related to Home Chef’s site selection efforts including assessment of cost comparisons between San Bernardino County and other locations outside of California. The Economic Development Agency helped to expedite permitting between city and county departments to meet project management milestones associated with Home Chef’s expansion.

To support the firm’s staffing needs the County’s Workforce Development Agency is working with Home Chef on numerous workforce initiatives, including participation in county job fairs.

“It is even more gratifying when a company is able to build upon its success in our County. We know that our workforce, strategic infrastructure and attainable lifestyle can make a real difference for companies that are looking to grow and establish a strong West Coast presence. Home Chef is a great employer that now provides our population with the opportunity to work in a leading-edge sector of the fast-growing meal kit delivery industry,” said San Bernardino County Deputy Executive Officer of Workforce and Economic Development Reg Javier.

 

About Home Chef

Home Chef is one of the largest meal kit delivery companies in the U.S., with over 3.5 million meals delivered each month. Founded in 2013, Home Chef offers fresh, pre-portioned ingredients and easy to follow recipes delivered weekly and is designed for anyone to be able to cook and everyone to enjoy. The Chicago-based company delivers nationwide. For two years running, Home Chef has been rated #1 in customer satisfaction among leading meal kit companies, according to Market Force Information U.S. Grocery Benchmark Study. Home Chef is a subsidiary of The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR). Find out more and get cooking at www.homechef.com. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for updates and inspiration.

About San Bernardino County: Located at the heart of Southern California, an economy of 23 million people, San Bernardino County is the largest county in the United States. Its vast borders stretch from the greater Los Angeles area to the Nevada border and the Colorado River encompassing a total area of 20,160 square miles. Comprised of 24 cities, San Bernardino County encompasses more than two million residents with a workforce of nearly 950,000. Its assets include an innovation corridor of close to two dozen colleges and universities supporting a strong, diverse workforce along with an unparalleled collection of roadways, runways and railways that lead to regional, national and international business centers. Visit www.SBCountyAdvantage.com.

The Inland Empire Business Journal (IEBJ) is the official business news publication of Southern California’s Inland Empire region - covering San Bernardino & Riverside Counties.

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Food & Lifestyle

Local Husband and Wife Open Graze Craze Charcuterie Store in East Ontario, California

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The couple is excited to use their passion for charcuterie and serving the community to offer locals an unforgettable grazing experience

Graze Craze®, the flourishing charcuterie concept known for its hand-crafted grazing boards, boxes and more, opened a new store in east Ontario at 5030 E. Fourth St. in The Exchange Shopping Center. Blessing and Oghenegare “Gare” Uyovbievbo are the local couple behind the concept’s newest Southern California location.  

Graze Craze is the leading creator of graze-style charcuterie arrangements, and each item on their menu is handcrafted by a team of experts, known as Grazologists™. These artisans skillfully design beautiful food displays that incorporate a variety of flavors, colors and textures that delight the senses for the ultimate dining experience. Each grazing spread features high-quality ingredients that complement one another, including premium meats and cheeses, fresh fruits, crisp veggies, house-made sauces, dips, jams and more. 

The Uyovbievbos are residents of Fontana and have been married for 13 years, raising three children in the Inland Empire. They each have a background in psychiatric nursing and are members of The Rock Church and World Outreach Center, and they’re excited to serve the area in a new way through their charcuterie store. 

“My wife and I are thrilled to provide beautiful charcuterie to this wonderful community,” said Gare Uyovbievbo. “We’ve always wanted to own a family business, so it’s a dream come true for us to have a charcuterie store where we can offer a premium product coupled with excellent service.”  

Graze Craze boards provide options for every lifestyle, dietary preference or palate and are available in various sizes to cater to any occasion. They incorporate a plethora of flavors, like the fan-favorite Gone Grazey board, a perfectly balanced mix of cured meats, premium cheeses, crackers, fresh produce, nuts and more. The Vegegrazian is impeccably designed with a medley of fresh fruits and vegetables for anyone embracing a plant-based lifestyle. Those with a sweet tooth can enjoy the Sweet & Grazey, which is hand-crafted using an abundance of delectable desserts like chocolates and baked goods paired with sweet dips to accent the irresistible flavors. 

As a great alternative to the typical bagel-and-donut brunch lineup, the store offers a Brunch Board that is packed with breakfast meats, fresh fruits, eggs, pastries and more, providing an innovative gourmet twist on any morning routine. Grazers can also impress guests at family gatherings with the seasonal Springtime Spread board, featuring a vibrant feast of fresh ingredients, like watermelon radish, Italian prosciutto, dried apricots and red wine merlot cheese, to name a few.

The artisan-inspired charcuterie offerings at Graze Craze are available in different size options, from Char-Cutie-Cups and Picnic Boxes for nibbling to sharing-size boards with enough fresh food to feed a large party. The food displays are ideal for elevating work meetings, family gatherings, lavish events and more, while they also make for memorable gifts that impress. 

The new charcuterie store is located at the boundary of Ontario and Rancho Cucamonga, two popular cities in the Inland Empire, offering convenient access for residents. The store is also near Ontario International Airport, the Toyota Arena and the local mall and movie theater. 

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Business

Local Veteran and His Family Open New Graze Craze Charcuterie Business in Murrieta, California

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Southern California wine country gets another stylish culinary option, offering beautifully designed, hand-crafted grazing boards and picnic boxes

Graze Craze® has opened a new location close to the wine country of Southern California, where its artfully arranged sweet and savory grazing boards and boxes create a perfect pairing for food lovers. Located at 24530 Village Walk Place, Suite C, in Village Walk Plaza, the 1,021-square-foot store is owned and operated by disabled veteran Chris Stout and his wife, Stephanie Stout, with assistance from their teenage children.

At Graze Craze, highly trained experts known as Grazologists™ skillfully design charcuterie arrangements that feature an assortment of fine ingredients perfect for grazing, like fresh fruits and vegetables, premium meats and cheeses, artisanal sweets, nuts, house-made jams and more.

Chris Stout enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 2001 and served several deployments before being discharged in 2012. Since then, he has worked as a field service engineer for an electronics company and in manufacturing sales. Stephanie Stout has a bachelor’s degree in business accounting from the University of Phoenix and worked for an insurance broker before the couple’s first child was born; she then devoted herself full-time to raising their three children, who are now in high school.

Graze Craze charcuterie boards offer something for every lifestyle, dietary preference or palate and are available in a variety of size options to cater to any occasion, big or small. They incorporate a medley of flavors, like the fan-favorite Gone Grazey board, a perfectly balanced mix of cured meats, premium cheeses, crackers, fresh produce, nuts and more. The Vegegrazian is impeccably designed with a plethora of fresh fruits and vegetables for anyone embracing a plant-based lifestyle. Those with an undeniable sweet tooth can enjoy the Sweet & Grazey, a hand-crafted board featuring an abundance of delectable desserts like chocolates and baked goods paired with sweet dips to accent the irresistible flavors.

New to the Graze Craze menu is the Brunch Board, a gourmet and innovative twist on any morning routine. Packed with breakfast meats, fresh fruits, eggs, pastries and more, this board is the perfect bagel-and-donut brunch alternative. Grazers can also tackle watch-party cravings with a seasonal Game Day Board, featuring a feast of

crowd-pleasing ingredients, like peppered salami, Italian prosciutto, goat cheese, cranberry walnut bread, raspberry jam and chocolate bark, to name a few.

The artisan-inspired charcuterie offerings at Graze Craze are available in different size options, from Char-Cutie-Cups and Picnic Boxes for nibbling to sharing-size boards with enough fresh food to feed a large party. The food displays are ideal for elevating work meetings, family gatherings, lavish events and more, while they also make for memorable gifts that impress.

Besides sharing the flavorful menu with the area, the Stouts are actively involved in numerous local school, business and community organizations. The pair supports the Murrieta Valley High School Marching Band Boosters and California High School Rodeo Association District 8, in addition to the Boy Scouts of America California Inland Empire Council and Friends of Temecula Troop 309, where Christopher Stout is a part of the adult leadership team. The couple has also worked with Homes For Our Troops, an impactful nonprofit organization that builds specially adapted homes for post-9/11 disabled veterans.

Graze Craze Murrieta is open for pick-up, catering and free local delivery Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call 951-942-7293.

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Business

Sunset Soirée 2023: A Night of Collaboration and Celebration in the Inland Empire

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Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce, in Partnership with Riverside Convention Center and NFL Alumni Association, Hosts a Memorable Evening of Networking, Music, and Community Engagement.

On September 7th, the Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with the Riverside Convention Center and the NFL Alumni Association of Southern California, successfully hosted their much-anticipated annual event, the “Sunset Soirée.” The event was proudly presented by isolved, a leading company dedicated to transforming the future of work through a unique blend of software and services tailored for payroll, benefits, and HR professionals.

Over 200 esteemed guests graced the occasion, immersing themselves in an evening filled with business networking, summer festivities, and the promise of forging meaningful connections. The Sunset Soirée has always been a beacon for professionals to exchange visionary ideas, collaborate, and expand their networks.

The evening began with a warm welcome, as each guest was greeted with a complimentary drink, setting a tone of camaraderie and relaxed interaction. An array of delectable complimentary hors d’oeuvres was served, each expertly crafted to tantalize the taste buds and fuel engaging conversations.

The event was graced by notable speakers, including Edward Ornelas, Jr., President & CEO of the Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce; James Washington, President of the NFL Alumni Association of Southern California and 2x Superbowl Champion with the Dallas Cowboys; and Barbra Rogers, Director of Operations at Riverside Convention Center.

Mr. Edward Ornelas, Jr. remarked, “The Sunset Soirée is more than just an event; it’s a testament to the spirit of collaboration and community in the Inland Empire. We’re honored to bring together such a diverse and dynamic group of professionals, and I’m personally thrilled to see the connections and partnerships that will undoubtedly emerge from tonight.”

The atmosphere was further elevated by the presence of a talented musician who serenaded the attendees with live music, adding a harmonious touch to the evening. The highlight of the night was a special performance by the acclaimed Country Music Artist, Presley Tennant. Known for her powerful vocals and unique blend of California-Country music, Tennant has shared the stage with music legends like Tim McGraw, Kelly Clarkson, Carly Pearce, and Blake Shelton. Her commitment to animal welfare through her Riffs & Rescues virtual charity tour showcases not just her immense talent but also her golden heart.

The Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce extends its heartfelt gratitude to all attendees, partners, and sponsors for making the Sunset Soirée a resounding success. The chamber remains committed to fostering business growth, collaboration, and community engagement in the Inland Empire region.

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