A new cosmetics company is producing a trial run of cosmetics, the first step in what it hopes will be hundreds of jobs for Clovis.
Beauty Health and Science Innovations — the result of merging Los Angeles-based COBE Chem Labs and Minneapolis-based Z. Bigatti — announced in November it had selected Clovis for its manufacturing site.
"Right this second, we are doing trial runs on our equipment as we speak," said Drew Martin, plant manager for Beauty Health and Science Innovations. "Everything's going good."
The trial run of cosmetics, mainly shampoos and conditioners, is technically the first sign BHSI is open for business. Martin said the trial run products are shippable, and the company intends to sell them.
Martin is the plant manager for the new Clovis plant and BHSI's smaller plant in Pico Rivera, Calif. — the COBE Chem plant prior to the merger. Martin said the California plant will remain open and primarily handle in-state shipments, while the Clovis plant will handle production for national distribution.
The company will be a white-label manufacturer, providing generic store brand products. Products will include liquid cosmetics for skin care, color cosmetics and makeup, topical prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs.
The former Froz Fruit plant BHSI purchased, an 82,000 square foot structure just south of the city's industrial park at Curry Road K and Kimberly Lane, shows few external signs of a new business other than roofing crews outside. Martin said roofing is about a third done, and the electrical work inside should be done within two weeks.
"The external is not our top priority," Martin said. "Our top priority is the internal stuff, getting production up and going."
There are about 10 temporary employees at the plant right now, but a first wave of hires within the next two weeks should include five people in the mechanical department and a purchasing office of at least two people.
Regarding line employees, Martin said that will be determined by market conditions. But he said there are between 20 and 30 employees on lines at the California plant, so that would be a good baseline for the first few weeks in Clovis.
President Brian Sperber has previously said he has a goal of 350 employees. The company receives $2 million in loan forgiveness from city economic development funds for meeting certain criteria, and an additional $1 million should it employ 300 people for a 12-month period during the first three years.
Lexi Myers, manager for Snelling Staffing, said although Snelling is still taking all applications, BHSI has taken over the rest and is currently working on phone interviews with applicants.
"They are stressing," Myers said, "that they want to get the people who are not leaving jobs to go there. They want to get people who are unemployed."
Martin confirmed that, noting that Clovis has a skilled enough pool of unemployed people to fit its needs. He added that Snelling has been a big help and, "will always have some role," with BHSI.