Marcus Benedetti, president and CEO of Petaluma’s Clover Stornetta Farms, announced last week that the dairy company has changed its name to Clover Sonoma, in an effort to “evoke a sense of a positive place.”
Call it a marketing re-branding re-naming. Benedetti says, “The rolling hills out here (in Petaluma) have to be conveyed.”
Sonoma residents know and revere the Stornetta name, but replacing that local dairy family’s name with “Sonoma” could have a broader branding appeal. After all, Kohl’s has a line of Sonoma clothes, and there is even a Sonoma brand of cigarettes.
Conventional milk now available in Clover Sonoma half gallon cartons will be non-GMO, with Benedetti forecasting that the company will make other liquid dairy products such as cream, half-and-half and buttermilk all GMO-free. Consumers might not see the new cartons immediately, as stores sell through their existing stock.
According to Benedetti, Clover is also changing its ownership structure to a “B Corp” benefit corporation, a certification aimed at making a profit and “having a social conscience providing social and environmental benefits.”
The Clover Dairy brand dates back to 1916 when it was distributed by the Petaluma Cooperative Dairy, which burned down in a devastating 1975 Petaluma fire. In 1977, Clover owner Gene Benedetti and his partners purchased Stornetta Dairy, then the largest dairy in the Bay Area, Clover Stornetta was born.
Gene Benedetti passed the presidential baton on to his son Dan in 1986, and then he passed the leadership role on to his son Marcus in 2006.
Currently about 85 percent of the company’s milk comes from Sonoma and Marin cows. The rest comes from a dairy in Humboldt County and one in the Central Valley.
Now Marcus Benedetti says, “the Stornetta name was but a chapter in the Clover story. Adding Sonoma to the Company’s name will be enduring.”
In case you were worried, Clo the Cow will stick around. She is the face and body of the whole operation.