Cal-Pacific Supply moves into its new building
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Cal-Pacific Supply Inc. is now open at its new location at 1035 S. Granada Drive.
For the past three years, Cal-Pacific Supply has had so much inventory that they had to sublease multiple warehouses for its inventory.
After a much anticipated wait, Cal-Pacific Supply has moved into its new 100,000 square foot facility on the corner of Almond Avenue and Granada Drive. President Mike Alamari couldn’t be more pleased.
“We had product in here since August 15,” he said. “The city gave us a safe to stock certificate. Since we had to close down our smaller warehouses, we got lucky and were able to stock stuff here. We had a reduction of about 15,000 square feet with no other warehouse to put it in. We opened November 15.”
Alamari’s Cal-Pacific Supply is 100 percent in the new building. His other business venture, Precise Payroll Pacific Farm isn’t quite in the new building just yet.
“We want to make sure everything will be right.” he said. “We had some issues with our generator from a prior company. They were all new and they seemed to be problematic. We got a used one and that has been holding up just fine. It burns less fuel than the new one. The new ones have so many electronics on it that it goes into protective mode where it thinks it’s going to overheat. It caused itself to shut down.”
The only thing slowing down Alamari is PG&E to be fully into his new building.
“We are waiting for PG&E,” he said. “Their original scheduled date is January, but I think it will be February or March. We will be getting in some city lights that we gave an easement to the city for. PG&E wants to make sure everyone is okay. They are stalling it for some reason.”
In the meantime, Cal-Pacific is still up and running and Alamari says his customers are liking the new facility, especially for the heater and air conditioning.
“It’s like a real retail store,” he said. “We have a 7,500 square foot hardware store with air conditioning. Before, you walked into a warehouse that was freezing cold. Our workers are happy. We expanded our product line so it’s a one-stop shop. The customers don’t have to bounce around to different stores around town.”
Now, with the expanded space, Alamari is beginning not only to service his agricultural customers, but also other businesses.
“Before, we sold only to our customers,” he said. “Now, we are selling to businesses. It’s working out pretty good. This year has been rough. Ag has been down, commodity prices have been down. We haven’t had a downturn. We had a slight one when we were closed for the move and power issues. We were weathering the storm pretty good. We’re hands-on in the business and have a low overhead.”
With more space, Alamari is taking a slightly slower approach than he normally does to make sure he is fully utilizing the space.
“There was a lot of containers we wanted to bring in from overseas or products we wanted to have here.” he said. “Instead of ordering every month, we wanted to order every quarter. We have the capital to do it and we are moving the volume. It would make things a lot easier. We were restricted on bringing those items in because of space. We just had no space. The question is to find our sweet spot with how much inventory we want to have on-hand and our finances. We will get there by sometime next quarter. We will have our pallet-racking laid out and what space we want to utilize.”
In addition to more space for his inventory, also built into the new building are three 5,000 square foot rooms for other vendors to store their goods at Cal-Pacific.
“We have one person coming in there next month. Then, we will explore new people that want to stock items with us. There’s a lot of vendors of ours from out of state who use other warehouses in California. They may not use all 5,000 square feet. One company, for example, we are one of their larger clients on the West Coast and have other clients on the West. They send two pallets to California when they have an order. Now, they will send us about 200 pallets of their most popular product and use me as their shipping point. It’s a win for me and a win for them. They will save a lot of money on freight. Instead of paying pallet fees to ship out, it all comes to me on a cheap truckload rate. From here, it gets shipped to California. In California, you can move a pallet for $100. We are also centrally located in California.”
Alamari is hoping to get those other warehouses filled up soon, but he wants to make sure his company is on solid ground.
“We want to find our sweet spot first and then open it up to other guys,” he said. “There’s plenty of space. We kind of overkilled the planning. We built this with the understanding of growing. We have grown X amount over the first 10 years, where will we be in the next 10 years.”
Alamari is a product of Madera Unified School District and an alumna of Madera High School. He is proud to be an MUSD success story and does what he can to help his community.
“When I started the business, I had no idea what to do,” he said. “I just started the business to see where it will take me. I will try it out. I didn’t want to go to law school. Let me see what this has in store for me. It’s been really good.”
Now, Alamari has built his clientele to bring in Madera County tax dollars from Madera County residents, and is now pulling in tax dollars from Fresno County.
“We have a lot of local clients,” he said. “The majority of our sales used to be done outside of our county because they stocked what we now stock. With the success of the business, it has brought a lot of sales tax revenue to the county. About 33 percent of our sales are from Madera County. Not only are we catching the people from Madera County that used to go outside, we do almost as much business from people outside of Madera County. We get that business to come to Madera County and contribute to our tax bill. It’s been a success.”
Recently, Alamari’s companies gave out coats to children at Nishimoto Elementary School District, in addition to other schools. He is also hosts food drives and other charitable events throughout the year.
“The county recognized that,” he said. “They were helpful in getting us open. We are on temporary occupancy. They were adamant about getting open. They knew the role we played in the ag business and the impact we have in the community.”
Alamari tried to be respectful to the neighboring businesses and residents by trying to keep the noise level down and the traffic flow as minimal as possible.
“Even the neighboring businesses say it has been good,” he said. “This used to be an empty lot and now it’s developed. We don’t have a lot of retail traffic. It was like the perfect business in the perfect area. It was a good fit. Some of the neighbors were a little anxious. Now, it’s been good. We keep the truck traffic on Almond Avenue. All of that was by design. We want to utilize the property correctly and ensure we are good neighbors.”