Agribusiness, Telecomm, Tourism Drive Petaluma's Economy

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Helen Putnam Plaza
Ian Curcio
Less than 100 years ago, Petaluma was a one-trick pony. During the Golden Poultry Age, the city was known as “The World’s Egg Basket,” and by some estimates, nine out of 10 families in Sonoma County made their living off eggs. Today, other sectors have gained a foothold, but agriculture is still an important aspect of Petaluma’s economy. Petaluma Poultry, established in 1969, employs sustainable farming practices in raising chickens. The chicken feed contains no antibiotics, and the chickens are treated humanely throughout their lives. Clover Stornetta is a successful local dairy ranch, and the 95-year-old Petaluma Cooperative Creamery is now part of a national conglomerate of dairy producers. Seemingly at the opposite end of the spectrum, the telecommunications industry has become quite important to the Petaluma economy. Dilithium Innovations, a leader in converged video solutions for mobile and broadband networks and the Internet, is headquartered in Petaluma and operates a research and development facility here. PlanIt Solutions, a Northern California network management service, is also based in the city. In addition to agriculture and telecommunications, tourism is a driving force of Petaluma’s economy. The city is just 40 miles from San Francisco, which attracts nearly 16 million visitors each year, and convenient to the Sonoma wine country. Beyond the three mainstays, Petaluma’s economy is buoyed by an up-and-coming environment-related sector. Plug-In Supply is a Petaluma-based company that sells conversion kits to turn hybrid cars into plug-in hybrids. Solar Depot, also headquartered here, is a wholesale distributor and systems integrator of solar electric and solar thermal systems. Solar Depot has designed and supplied thousands of solar systems for customers including the federal government, NASA, state governments, universities and schools, municipal utilities and private sector entities.

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Wed, 02/28/2018 - 21:22