Sonoma Jack is back
Longtime Sonoma cheesemaker returns home
Sonoma resident John Crean and third generation native David Vivani, of Estate Cheese Group LLC (ECG) have acquired Sonoma Creamery LLC (Sonoma), formerly Sonoma Foods Inc., producer of the iconic Sonoma Jack and Sonoma Cheese brands, and are bringing the brands back home to Sonoma where they began.
Viviani, who is vice president of marketing for Sonoma Creamery and grandson of co-founder Celso Viviani, was the originator of the Sonoma Jack brand when he was operating the family-owned Sonoma Cheese Factory. Later, that business was split in two, with David Viviani's father, Pete, keeping The Sonoma Cheese Factory retail operation on Spain Street and David taking the Sonoma Jack brand as part of the Sonoma Foods Inc. business out to Eighth Street East.
In 2005 Sonoma Foods Inc., including the Sonoma Jack brand of cheese, was sold to Monterey Gourmet Foods, which in turn was purchased in 2009 by Pulmuone, a Korean owned maker of soy products, including the Wildwood tofu brand. Now, Crean and Viviani are bringing Sonoma Jack back to Sonoma. Lou Biaggi, who is a 30-year veteran of Sonoma Creamery, is vice president of cheesemaking and operations, and several other members of the original Sonoma Cheese team have remained with the company. John Crean, president and CEO of ECG and Sonoma Creamery, is a food and beverage entrepreneur who previously co-founded the successful private label wine, spirits and beer company, Winery Exchange. All together the new ECG team brings over 100 years of combined industry experience and relationships.
Their local offices are at 670 West Napa Street. Estate Cheese Group invests in and manages outstanding cheese and dairy brands with a commitment to delivering all natural, sustainably farmed products.
“Sonoma is a special brand. The outstanding family of Sonoma brand products and excellent longtime employees form the basis of a great investment for ECG. We intend to grow the company and build on Sonoma’s longstanding heritage of innovation, quality and expertly crafted cheeses,” Crean stated.
Andrew Mun, CFO of Pulmuone USA and Monterey Gourmet Foods commented, “We have great faith in John Crean and team from ECG. We are very pleased that the brand is in good hands and wish them the very best in their future developments.”
For more information call 996-1000 or go to www.estatecheese.com.