Nut firm set to start shipments
After opening a 20,000-square-foot facility in the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center more than a year ago, startup venture Pioneer Nut Company is finally ready to start shipping packaged nuts, says Jon Murphy, general manager.
“The money flow is going one direction thus far, but that will change in a hurry,” Murphy says. Pioneer Nut Company, which receives bulk walnuts by the truckload from California and runs them through a giant nutcracker and then a separator, expects to ship products in the next couple of weeks.
Once ramp-up is complete, Pioneer Nut expects to employ about 15 people. Most work involves hand-separating shells from kernels. Murphy says the labor supply has been tight since the company moved here from Yuba City, Calif., but he has had much success with workers with disabilities who work under contract with High Sierra Industries of Reno.
“When up and running at capacity,” he adds, “we will be producing about 12,000 pounds of nuts a day. We ship them out in boxes weighing 23 to 30 pounds.”
Bakeries are Pioneer Nut’s primary customers. Murphy says the company eventually will need to expand to increase its storage facilities and add more nut-cracking equipment. It also wants to venture into value-added products such as flavorings and packaging, as well as to become certified organic.
Like many businessmen new to the Truckee Meadows, Murphy likes the way Nevada operates.
“Businesses are viewed in California as a source of revenue for the state,” he says. “My observation is that in Nevada they welcome business. It has been relatively easy as a startup.”
Kristina Miranda, who was hired recently as a staff accountant at Clausen & Company, is currently enrolled at the University of Nevada, Reno and is earning a Bachelor of Science in business administration.