Natural Products  June 15, 2022

1908 Brands moves on from food to focus on Boulder Clean

BOULDER — Consumer-goods producer 1908 Brands Inc. is moving on from the two food brands remaining under its control — marinade, sauce and rub line Schultz Gourmet, and pasta sauce brand Pasta Jay’s — and focusing on the company’s growing Boulder Clean line of household-cleaning products. 

“We’re officially out of the food business,” 1908 Brands founder and CEO Steve Savage told BizWest Tuesday.

While Savage’s company might be done with its food brands, the man himself is still a co-owner of Pasta Jay’s sauce outfit. 1908 Brands sold off that portion of the business to a new entity controlled by Savage and Pasta Jay’s founder Jay Elowsky. 

The two food brands, the remnants of a previously wider food portfolio for 1908 Brands, “were profitable and pretty easy to maintain,” Savage said. But the limited shelf-life for food products made the industry tougher in comparison to cleaning products, which is Boulder Clean’s bailiwick.

“You can do bigger production runs [with cleaning products,] which reduces cost,” Savage said.

With the increased attention to Boulder Clean, which is expanding its retail distribution footprint, Pasta Jay’s sauces will be “kind of a side project” in which Savage will maintain a stake and a seat on the board of directors. He will provide advisory services as needed. 

“Jay [Elowsky] knows sauce, and he knows his restaurant,” which has been a Pearl Street staple for decades, said Savage, whose new role will be less hands-on on a day-to-day basis.

The Schultz Gourmet brand has been offloaded to Tom Hanchin, the former leader of Lafayette-based fiber-optic cable-maker CCX Corp., said Savage, who will not maintain an ownership stake in Schultz.

Boulder-born 1908 Brands moved its manufacturing operations to Aurora this year, more than doubling its square footage.

The move to the roughly 50,000-square-foot space at 16401 E. 33rd Drive in Aurora puts 1908 Brands’ new warehouse and operations hub right next to Vision Chemical Systems Inc., a key vendor that provides chemical-blending services. 

The company’s Surface Cleaning Refill Starter Kit, which includes reusable glass spray bottles and tablets of cleaning chemicals that the consumer mixes with water, was a winner of an Expo West 2022 NEXTY Award. Expo West, organized by Boulder-based New Hope Network, is the natural and organic product industry’s largest trade show.

“It’s the future of household cleaning,” Savage said of reusables and concentrates, “so it’s pretty exciting.”

Younger generations are demanding greener cleaning supplies, he said.

The household-cleaner category isn’t without its challenges, especially during the age of inflation and supply-chain disruptions.

“The costs are skyrocketing,” Savage said, pegging the increase in materials at about 35%.

BOULDER — Consumer-goods producer 1908 Brands Inc. is moving on from the two food brands remaining under its control — marinade, sauce and rub line Schultz Gourmet, and pasta sauce brand Pasta Jay’s — and focusing on the company’s growing Boulder Clean line of household-cleaning products. 

“We’re officially out of the food business,” 1908 Brands founder and CEO Steve Savage told BizWest Tuesday.

While Savage’s company might be done with its food brands, the man himself is still a co-owner of Pasta Jay’s sauce outfit. 1908 Brands sold off that portion of the business to a new entity controlled by Savage and…