New Life Bakery, the Carson City-based maker of Clif Bars and organic baked goodies, will receive the Northern Nevada Distinguished Business Award at the 17th annual Governor's Industry Appreciation Luncheon.
The 100,000-square-foot bakery on Conestoga Drive is owned by David, Jim and Kim Marson, whose parents, Richard and Iretta, moved it from the San Francisco Bay area in 1991.
"I think this award has as much to do with our commitment and involvement with the community and our employees as it does with our business success," Dave Marson said Wednesday.
The company helps its English-speaking employees to learn Spanish as well as helping the Spanish speakers learn English, for example. New Life Bakery fully funds the Silver State Striders youth cross country running club and contributes to the Carson City Aquatic club and the Eagle Valley Middle School cross country team.
"We help out FISH and the boys and girls club. And we sent a large shipment to Nicaragua through World Vision," he said. "We also encourage our employees to be active in the community and help out the organizations they are involved in."
Richard and Joe Marson started their Marson Bros. bakery and coffee shop in San Francisco in 1970 and built their business making making no-fat natural food products sweetened with fruit juices instead of sugar. Joe Marson moved to Incline Village a few years later, while Richard, Iretta and their children continued with the business.
They began baking under contract for Barbara Bakeries, an early health food brand, and moved to Hayward, Calif., when they needed room to expand. When expansion was needed again, California was becoming too expensive.
"For what we would have spend for the land in California, we got the land and the plant in Carson City," David Marson said.
The contract for the Clif Bar, a competitor to the Power Bar, came in the mid-1990s. The 70,000 square feet of room started to fill up as New life made 18 million Clif Bars a year along with other products and its own secret-recipe liqueur cakes. A 30,000-square-foot expansion was added in early 1999.
"We employ 250-300 people, depending on the season," Marson said.
The industry appreciation luncheon will be Oct. 25 at the Reno Hilton.
Other awards to be presented include:
-- Northern Nevada Motion Picture Award to "Squelch", a movie filmed along Interstate 80 by Regency Enterprises.
-- Northern Nevada Exporter of the Year Award to Eagle-Picher Mines.
-- Nevada Inventor of the Year Award to John Whitney of Reno, for his process that removed metals from photographic processing chemicals and recycles the resulting liquid as fertilizer.
-- Roland Tibbets Award, which recognizes businesses that participated in the Small Business Innovations Research Program to transfer technological development to the marketplace, to OptiComp Corp. of Zephyr Cove.
For tickets to the luncheon, call 687-1600 before Oct. 20.