• Califia Farms has opened a new 52,000-square-foot distribution center off Lerdo Highway. It's adjacent to the company's existing 40,000-square-foot bottling plant.

    'Brand of the year' beverage maker opens Kern distribution center

    A Los Angeles-based maker of plant-based beverages has expanded its Kern County presence by opening a 52,000-square-foot distribution center employing about 100 people along Lerdo Highway. Focused on almond milk and citrus juices, Califia Farms’ new, 24-hour distribution center is located next to

  • Bakersfield's real estate values are stronger than those of other so-called oil cities. Pictured is The Islands at Seven Oaks Country Club.

    Kern's home market outperforms those of other U.S. oil cities

    When oil prices plummeted in 2014, and failed to recover last year, local housing market observers worried the toll on Kern home sales would be heavy. But a new analysis indicates the downturn hasn’t hit the county’s residential real estate all that hard — at least, not when compared with

  • In this file photo, a steady flow of customers enters and exits the Kmart on Wilson Road on a Thanksgiving Day.

    County moves to seize Wasco Kmart's business equipment

    Kern County is taking no chances with the upcoming closure of Kmart’s Wasco store. In order to ensure payment of the store’s 2016 property tax bill, the county filed notice April 22 it intends to seize all $614,900 worth of business equipment inside the Kmart at 2785 Highway 46. The filing was

  • Jacob L. Eaton

    People in Business for the week of May 1

    JACOB L. EATON has been certified as a specialist in bankruptcy law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. Eaton is a partner at the Bakersfield law firm of Klein, DeNatale, Goldner, Cooper, Rosenlieb & Kimball LLP. His practice focuses on representing debtors in Chapters

  • Business roundup: Mission hits 68th consecutive profitable quarter, more

    Mission Bancorp posted net income of $1.2 million during the three months that ended March 31, a 65 percent increase over a year earlier. It was the Bakersfield-based bank company’s 68th consecutive profitable quarter. The company said the loan portfolio of Mission Bank, its wholly owned

  • In this file photo, an almond orchard blooms along 7th Standard Road, near the Target Distribution Center. This is a high dynamic range image that combines five exposures of the same scene to capture the tonal range of both the orchard and the sky.

    Kern's almond dominance threatened by neighboring county

    Fresno County cut further into Kern’s almond dominance last year, according to a new report detailing continued expansion of California farmland dedicated to producing the nut. Kern added almond acreage overall in 2015, but it did so at a much slower pace than it did in 2014 and 2013. During the

  • This is a photo of a typical Aldi supermarket interior.

    Business roundup: Aldi plans May 19 opening on Panama Lane near Highway 99

    Bakersfield’s first Aldi store will open May 19, the same day the German-based supermarket chain is scheduled to unveil six other stores as far away as Calexico and Palm Desert, the company announced Tuesday. Aldi Inc. is planning a grand opening event with gift certificate and shopping bag

  • Sunday night's storm blew down this almond tree in Shafter.

    Stormy weather causes damage to local orchards

    Gusty winds and rain over the weekend brought scattered reports of losses in Kern County orchards as local growers braced for the possibility even more damage later this week. People working in local agriculture said an undetermined number of almond trees — mostly older ones weighed down by what

  • Xerox plans to hire 545 at Bakersfield call center

    Xerox Corp. said Monday it will soon hire 545 people to work full-time at its Bakersfield calling center, 401 34th St. The announcement continues the “ebb and flow” of jobs at the location, Xerox said. In February it announced the layoff of nearly 500 workers at the call center. Last year it said

  • The Sears Auto Center at Valley Plaza has closed permanently.

    Auto center closes at Valley Plaza, half Sears space to be vacated

    The Sears Auto Center at Valley Plaza has closed permanently, and half the space inside the nearby Sears store along Ming Avenue will soon be converted for another use, the company said Monday. Both unannounced moves were made by a year-old real estate partnership between the retail chain’s

  • Alice Juarez is Wells Fargo & Co.'s area president for the South Valley market.

    People in Business for the week of April 25

    ALICE JUAREZ has been named Wells Fargo & Co.’s area president of the South Valley market. Juarez will be headquartered in Bakersfield, overseeing nearly 600 retail banking professionals across 36 banking stores in Kern, Kings and Tulare counties, as well as the Antelope and Santa Clarita

  • Wasco set to lose major retailer

    The Kmart in Wasco will close this summer as part of a cost-cutting move by its parent company to shutter 78 stores nationwide, or about 5 percent of its total, including 10 Sears locations. The store southeast of Central Avenue and Highway 46 is among four Central Valley Kmarts on a list of

  • Solar power and oil production come together Thursday in McKittrick as GlassPoint and Berry Petroleum pull resources together to utilize the sun to create steam allowing more petroleum out of the ground than it would otherwise.

    Business roundup: GlassPoint expands into Bakersfield, more

    A Fremont-based company that builds solar installations to generate steam for oil production announced Wednesday it has opened an office in Bakersfield. GlassPoint Solar said the office at 1502 Mill Rock Way, Suite 170, is staffed by two oil industry veterans, Director of Project

  • Arizona company acquires rights to Kern placer gold mining claim

    An Arizona company announced this week it has acquired rights from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to operate a 160-acre placer gold mining claim about 50 miles north of Mojave. Green Mining Technologies Inc., a subsidiary of publicly traded Green Plant Group Inc., based in Tempe, said in a

  • This file photo shows a pumping unit and two oil rigs south of Kimberlina Road and west of Shafter Ave.

    Oil group question bid to raise pipeline rates 60%

    California oil producers are challenging a pipeline company’s proposal to increase its rates 60 percent, saying the hikes may be too steep at a time of low petroleum prices. The trade group California Independent Petroleum Association filed a protest Friday with the state Public Utilities

  • In the distance is what remains of the George Borba & Son Dairy near Taft Highway and Interstate 5.

    Borba dairy sale milked the farmland boom

    When one of Kern County’s largest dairies sold in April of last year, followed shortly thereafter by the auction of its 8,000 cows, speculation was that it had succumbed to low milk prices, high feed costs and stiffening environmental regulations. Industry observers say that while each of those

  • An oil pump jack is hard at work around sunset next to the bike path in Bakersfield in this June 2014 photo.

    Kern's jobless rate rose again in March, to 11.6%

    State figures released Friday suggest unemployment widened in Kern for a sixth consecutive month in March, reaching a seasonally unadjusted 11.6 percent, the highest in a year and well above September’s 8.4 percent. The data show the biggest driver was layoffs in farming, which shed 8,200 jobs

  • In this file photo, a worker uses a forklift near a hydrocracker area of the Alon USA Bakersfield Refinery on Rosedale Highway.

    Environmentalists sue to halt refinery project observers call moot

    In case unfavorable market conditions haven’t already killed a proposal to reopen the Alon refinery on Rosedale Highway, environmental groups filed a lawsuit this week asking federal officials to challenge the plant’s air permits. The federal lawsuit filed by a coalition including the Sierra Club