Water filtration company chooses Reno for growth
Andy Butler, chief executive officer of Zuvo Water, says Silicon Valley is a great place for an entrepreneur to start a company, but Reno is an even better plan to grow a new business.
Zuvo Water began the process of moving from Mountain View, Calif. in December and expects to complete the transition to northern Nevada by April. The company founded in 2008 manufactures and distributes a wide range of water purification devices that use ultraviolet, ozone and charcoal filtration methods.
Zuvo water currently employs four, but it expects to employ a workforce between 20 to 25 people by years end. Zuvo is hiring for many different positions, including design, operations, customer service and finance.
Butler says the company’s growth path was stifled by the high costs of doing business in the Bay Area and by its highly competitive and transitory workforce.
“Silicon Valley has a lot of advantages for an early-stage company when you are innovating and have a lot of risk and a lot of variables up in the air. You can find people and talent who are used to that situation. But as you grow and expand every element of your operation — customer service, fulfillment, manufacturing — in the Silicon Valley it becomes impractical for a variety of reasons.”
Butler cites a shortage of qualified administrative personnel and the job-switching nature of many Bay Area employees as two main factors for relocation to Reno. Zuvo scouted many different locations before settling on Reno.
Reno, Butler says, had a base of residents who enjoyed the area and could provide the company with stable, long-term employment. Zuvo also was looking for a city with a good university that had a strong engineering school, as well as a strong base of outdoor recreational enthusiasts.
“We found all of those elements in Reno,” he says.
The company has some manufacturing functions currently being done in China that it wants to bring back onshore. Its main markets are kitchen and bath fixture stores, big box retailers, and it has a strong online presence through Costco.com. Zuvo will fulfill all orders from its new location at 895 E. Patriot Blvd.
The Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada assisted Zuvo Water with site selection and ways to tap the region’s workforce, Butler says. Butler and Ray Brown, Zuvo’s executive vice president of sales and marketing, both relocated to Reno and are shopping for homes in the region.
With median home prices topping $500,000 in Reno and nearly $520,000 in Minden/Gardnerville, 2021 is shaping up to be quite the sellers’ market for Northern Nevada. As for housing supply, that’s another story, reports the NNBW’s Kaleb M. Roedel.