Big name sets up shop in Auburn

Select Nutrition to call airport facility western distribution hub
By: Eyragon Eidam of the Auburn Journal
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From the outside of the new Select Nutrition location in Auburn, it’s difficult to tell that you are standing in front of a state-of-the-art distribution center.

The unassuming Municipal Airport warehouse gives no clues to the buildings internal workings.  Shelving towers over the warehouse floor and a voice-controlled conveyor system sits poised to process thousands of products for delivery.

Inside, rows of empty shelves wait for the first shipments of vitamins, supplements and the wide variety of other health-oriented products while a skeleton crew trains on barcode guns and forklifts.

The 160,000-sqaure-foot space is immense - to say the least - and is lending an opportunity for the company’s footprint expansion and much needed jobs within Placer County.

June Carlin, director of marketing with Select Nutrition, said the new location could bring as many as 50 new jobs to the area while being a hub for easy shipping access to their west coast retailers.

There are more than 2,500 western retailers that Select Nutrition supplies. Companies like Whole Foods Grocery Stores carry aisles full of the products they stock.

Carlin said the facility is a far cry from their smaller Philadelphia warehouse when it comes to timely shipping and operational scale.

Packages sent from the Auburn location will take one to two days to reach their final destinations – a significant improvement over the five days it takes to ship from back east.

Before the renovation of the once leaky, old warehouse, Select Nutrition shared a Rocklin facility with parent company United Natural Foods, Inc., a $7 billion a year powerhouse.

“It was like sharing a room with your sister,” Carlin said.

The move to Auburn will mean more than just a couple dozen jobs within city limits; it will also mean additional tax revenue for the city coffers.

Mayor Bridget Powers has long touted the Auburn Municipal Airport Industrial Park as a pet project and important piece of the city’s economic patchwork.

Powers said she is looking forward to seeing more businesses move into the diverse industrial zone.

“There are people looking to come here, but the spaces are too big,” Powers said of efforts to scale down some of the larger buildings.

Warehouse workers will begin to see stock shipments arriving within the next few weeks and plan to see distribution start in early December.

Carlin said an open house will be held on Feb. 5 to welcome the community.