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How Mendocino Farms Became a California Favorite

Mendocino Farms

Mendocino Farms is a U.S.-based business that has managed to find a fair amount of success in the state of California. Based on the name, some people might expect it to be a food producer. However, interested individuals should know that its full name is Mendocino Farms Sandwich Market, which makes the nature of its products much clearer. Regardless, the rise of Mendocino Farms hasn't been brought about by pure luck, meaning that there is a story worth listening to.

Family Business

Mendocino Farms started out as a family business owned and operated by a husband-and-wife team consisting of Mario Del Pero and Ellen Chen in 2003. Furthermore, it has remained a family business in spite of its considerable expansion since that time. It seems reasonable to speculate that this presentation has played a part in Mendocino Farms's expansion. After all, it is very common for people to have very mixed opinions about companies. To a considerable extent, this is because of a wide range of abuses that have been carried out by a wide range of companies. However, it should also be noted that companies are faceless, which is a huge barrier when it comes to human interaction. Family businesses have an advantage in that they have human faces to represent them, with the result that they are seen as being somewhat less cold and less cynical than their counterparts. This might not mean much in a single consumer's decision-making, but when a business is interacting with thousands and thousands of consumers on a regular basis, the effects become much more noticeable.

Choosing the Right Sources of Investment

Running a business is a serious challenge. After all, most businesses can't work without a number of critical functions, each of which calls for a specialized set of skills. As businesses become bigger and bigger, carrying out those functions become more and more challenging even for business owner who have the relevant expertise and experience. Investment firms can provide a lot of help when it comes to this particular problem. This is because once they have invested in a particular business, they have a strong interest in seeing that it succeeds, which in turn, means that a lot of them offer advisers as well as other sources of assistance. However, the investment of investment firms means that they have a say when it comes to how a business is run, which can be a source of considerable conflict when the various parties either cannot come to a consensus or cannot compromise between themselves. As such, it is very important for business owners to team up with the right investment firms like Mendocino Farms did.

Good Timing

Those who manage to get involved in a trend sooner tend to have an advantage against those who manage to get involved in a trend later. This is because going up against an established competitor that can call upon a greater amount of resources is a very difficult scenario, particularly when there aren't so many earlier adopters that interested parties can draw upon their collective expertise and experience to get themselves over some of the initial hurdles. Mendocino Farms was lucky in that its founders managed to get into the game at a time when the concept of fast-casual was still coming into existence, thus providing it with less impeded access to a new niche of the market. Moreover, they didn't go in as total newbies but rather as successful entrepreneurs who had already managed to sell a successful restaurant brand aimed at a similar clientele.

Eating Well

People have become more and more interested in eating well in recent decades. However, just because people want to eat well, that doesn't necessarily mean that people want to make 100 percent of their meals 100 percent of the time. As a result, there are opportunities for restaurants that can cater to health-conscious consumers. On top of this, such food businesses have been influencing the public consciousness as well. Basically, their marketing has been used to increase awareness of the importance of eating well, which in turn, convinces more and more consumers to seek out healthier food options. In turn, this creates more opportunities for more sales for these food businesses, thus putting them in a stronger position from which to compete with their less health-conscious counterparts.

Eating Local

Speaking of which, there has been an increased interest in eating local as well. Eating well is one of the motivators for eating local, but it is important to note that there are other motivators at work. For example, there are a lot of people who choose to eat local because of their eco-consciousness. After all, the shorter the distance that the goods have to be moved, the smaller the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the air. Likewise, there are a lot of people who care about supporting local producers, which in turn, strengthens their local communities. Having said this, eating well is very much a part of eating local, not least because of the perception that interested individuals can get their hands on fresher goods. In any case, restaurants that team up with local producers in the sense of sourcing their ingredients from those local producers can use that to market to a growing segment of consumers.

Foodie Culture

Other aspects of foodie culture have also been proven to be beneficial. For example, the rise of food TV has encouraged a lot of people to become interested in recipes as well as ingredients that they have no previous experience with, thus making them bolder when it comes to their food choices. Likewise, the food truck boom resulted in a lot of creative people with a lot of passion entering the food business, which has been helpful for Mendocino Farms's own prospects as well.


Customization is another factor that has helped. In short, stamping out identical restaurants can work for restaurant chains that are reliant on offering the exact same things everytime and everywhere. However, the way that Mendocino Farms runs its business makes that impossible. Instead, it has embraced its need for customization by making sure that its individual locations have been tailored for their individual circumstances, thus making it that much easier for them to sell to their specific customers rather than a generic customer base.

Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

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