E’ville Biz: SurveyMonkey expanding, Imperfect Produce partnering on Ice Cream, Novartis shifting jobs

Published On June 21, 2017 | By Rob Arias | Local Business, News & Commentary

This month’s digest of Emeryville business articles features a range of companies including SurveyMonkey, Imperfect Produce, Novartis and Clif Bar.

Emeryville’s Imperfect Produce is partnering with Salt & Straw in combatting food waste. Imperfect will be providing ingredients for them to churn into five “rescued foods” ice cream flavors. Salt & Straw has a SF shop in addition to several Los Angeles and Portland locations.

Anyone who’s taken an online survey has probably used SurveyMonkey.com before. Fewer people know they are based right here in Emeryville. SurveyMonkey recently strengthened their roots in our city by subleasing a larger office space from the recently acquired LeapFrog on Hollis.

Swiss drug maker Novartis is in the process of moving its Institute for Tropical Diseases from Singapore to its Emeryville location. SF Business Times outlines how the move is expected to accelerate its work toward finding treatments for some of the world’s deadliest but often-neglected diseases.

In addition, Business Insider interviews Clif Bar owners, husband-and-wife team Gary Erickson and Kit Crawford on their decision to hand over the reins to CEO Kevin Cleary. The company is said to possess a third of the health bar market and has about 1,100 employees across the country.


How a piece of Singapore could reshape this East Bay drug research center

By Ron Leuty

Novartis AG’s decade-long operational shuffle appears ready to play into the East Bay’s hand.

The Swiss drug maker is in the process of moving its Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases from Singapore to Emeryville, hoping it can save time and money, forge new partnerships and accelerate its work toward finding treatments for some of the world’s deadliest but often-neglected diseases.

In all, about 15 members of the tropical diseases team will move to Emeryville by the end of July, said Thierry Diagana, head of the unit. Over the next couple years, the institute will increase hiring to about 50 employees.

Those aren’t huge numbers. But the relocation shows the value that Novartis (NYSE: NVS) sees in the Emeryville site.

Read More on SF Business Times (subject to paywall) →


SurveyMonkey’s sublease of 37,982 square feet from LeapFrog Enterprises

Emeryville’s overall vacancy rate dropped from 11.3 percent to 8.4 percent from the third quarter, registering strong positive quarterly net absorption of 126,661 square feet. Class A vacancy decreased dramatically from 11.3 percent to 6.2 percent quarter over quarter with the absorption of space at The Towers, 5980 Horton Street, and 6001 Shellmound Street. Class B/C remained relatively stable with an increase of just 0.6 percent, finishing the year with negative 6,755 square feet of net absorption year to date (YTD). Overall, total YTD net absorption this year saw a slowdown, with 45,248 square feet absorbed compared to 294,753 square feet absorbed at the same time in 2015.

Notable lease transactions in the quarter include SurveyMonkey’s sublease of 37,982 square feet from LeapFrog Enterprises at 6401 Hollis Avenue and 23,410 square feet of space taken at 2000 Powell Street.

Download the PDF report on Colliers.com →


Image: Salt & Straw

Emeryville’s Imperfect Produce Spawns a New Ice-Cream Flavor

Misshapen fruit, leftover popcorn, and other ingredients that would otherwise be trashed are being churned into tasty cool treats.

By Anneli Star Josselin Rufus

Emeryville-based Imperfect Produce — which sources from farms, then home-delivers “ugly” (aka misshapen and supermarket-unfriendly) fruits and vegetables at a discount — has teamed up with family-run ice creamery Salt & Straw to create a new flavor celebrating the hidden beauty of what some would call garbage.

Imperfect Produce’s Candied Citrus & Whey Caramel is one of several new flavors based on “rescued foods” that have been sourced around the Bay Area. These flavors are being served throughout June at Salt & Straw’s San Francisco shop.

Read More on AlamedaMagazine.com →


Clif Bar owners Gary Erickson and Kit Crawford. Clif Bar & Company

The owners of Clif Bar explain how they knew their new CEO was ready to take over a multimillion-dollar company

By Richard Feloni

Clif Bars may be ubiquitous across America, but despite the company’s size, it remains privately held — by the man who created the first Clif Bar in 1990, along with his wife.

But in 2013, Clif Bar & Company owners, husband-and-wife team Gary Erickson and Kit Crawford, decided to hand over the CEO reins to Kevin Cleary, who had been with the company since 2004.

Read more on Business Insider →


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About The Author

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who moved to Emeryville in 2003. A new parent in the community, he can often be seen walking his French Bulldog rescue "Fiona" around his Park Avenue District neighborhood, traversing the greenway on his bike or enjoying his favorite Emeryville small businesses. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.

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