Under New Ownership: St. Amour Bakery - 2971 Grace Lane - Costa Mesa - California - 92626
UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP: Contact: Arve Johansson - StAmourBakery@yahoo.com
St. Amour Bakery. We are a manufacturer of cookies and granola for people with particular health needs. As quality and great tasting products are the key to our longevity. We’ve had products on shelves of natural foods markets and supermarkets in Southern and Northern California and the East Coast for 25 years and they are still going strong. All of our products are Non GMO Verified and include the following:
. Susan’s Sugar Free vegan cookies – 5 Flavors. (2 packaging designs available). For diabetics and those who are limiting their calorie intake.
. Basic Power Granola – (2 packaging designs available) – Sugar Free, vegan - 2 flavors
. Rocks N Rolls vegan cookies – 5 flavors. Low fat & low sugar
. Daniel’s Vegan cookies – 6 flavors (New packaging design). Or those who must avoid dairy products.
. St Amour Wafers – Butter cookies – 2 flavors. For celiacs and people who are sensitive to gluten.
. St. Amour Teethers – 1 flavor – Vegan. For babies.
. Grace Lane's Hemp cookies - 3 flavors.
The Story of the Original Owners. In the past 7 years, at the death of family members triggered by complications of diabetes, we decided to create a line of sugar-free cookies. Gradually a very rewarding niche opened-up itself for our company as we introduced our line of Susan’s Sugar Free vegan cookies. It kept growing, so 3 years later, we decided to add to our panoply of brands, all the while focusing on taste and simple ingredients, a very special high protein sugar free granola which we called ‘Basic Power Granola’. Since, where ever we place its 2 SKUs that product becomes a success. Even some small stores regularly sell an astonishing 20 and up to 50 cases per month.
Susan and I met at a restaurant in Los Angeles 35 years ago and were married a few weeks later. She was a well respected and demanding language high school teacher and I was a French immigrant, born and raised in Algeria when the country was French. Yes, I have been homeless, shared red wine with hobos and slept under bridges during one of the coldest winter of the century in France but as I always say to our employees: "You came to this country to succeed so, never feel poor and always be grateful." Susan's strength of character and solid mid-western values have helped me a great deal. My skills as a survivor and born entrepreneur added to hers.
Susan won the 4-H championship for her baking entries in county and state fair in Indiana at age 14. As for me, I had many different businesses, including a renowned restaurant and a disco during my 13 years in Spain. Anyhow, after many vicissitudes to long to tell here, I had to once more to have to start from scratch but this time Susan was here.
St. Amour cookies begun in 1993 as a tiny venture. After 2 years selling at open air markets we landed a large retailer which for the next few years represented 90% of our business. In those days Whole Foods had only 3 stores in Los Angeles. Life being what it is, we learned a painful and devastating lesson when 5 years later that large client demanded to private label our product line which we recalcitrantly did. From a steady growth, sales went down to nothing in less than a year with their own label. Back to square one and for the next 3 years we were renting a table at a local bakery simply to keep our 2 lines of products in Whole Foods and Bristol Farms' shelves plus another handful of natural food stores here and there. Susan, with fortitude and exemplary courage was keeping us alive on her hard work and teachers' salary. By the end of 2002 we finally had dusted off the pains off of our backs and started from zero again. I was driving from town to town selling cookies to coffee shops before Starbucks that is. In my old Mitsubishi crisscrossed the US, sleeping in it, eating only if I could sell a few bags of cookies, determined to get Susan and I out of this situation.
In 2002 we finally incorporated our company, St. Amour Inc on maxed out credit cards. We were no longer spring chicken though. Susan had just retired from her 34 year teaching position so I got on the phone and started again selling. Needless to say it was worth than pulling teeth as the rejection rate was extremely painful as not many had even heard the word 'Vegan'. But determination is the name of 'our' game.
Could we have done things differently to succeed earlier? Perhaps but today our company is strong and boasts products with enormous proven longevity.
Have we succeeded? Yes. Because our bond is ever stronger.