Grove Collaborative, a natural products company, became the most recent San Francisco-based company to expand to Maine in the past couple years, with plans to start operations in Portland in November and to hire up to 100 full-time employees within the next year.
“Maine shares our values,” said Matthew Bray, head of operations at the Portland office. He said the time zone difference also figured into choosing Maine as the company’s East Coast location.
The e-commerce company makes recurring deliveries of natural home, beauty and personal care products to customers. Bray said the prices are affordable and on par with those at Target. The company sells both its own brand and other products.
It is hiring what it calls “Grove Guides,” workers who will help consumers shop for products, as well as provide customer service. The company has 16 workers already, and plans to have 50 by the end of the year, Bray said. The remaining 50 will be hired next year. He said the jobs are full-time and will pay well above minimum wage.
The company has leased 9,000 square feet at 123 Middle St.
The 100 employees will add to the 300 it has in San Francisco and other locations, including a warehouse in Missouri.
“San Francisco-based companies are looking to expand on the East Coast,” said Ashley Pringle, vice president of operations at Maine & Co., a Portland firm that helps attract companies to locate in Maine. “They come to Maine for the culture and the cost of doing business.”
Another factor is having an East Coast office that is open three hours before San Francisco opens for business, she said.
Maine & Co. helped attract two other San Francisco-headquartered companies to Maine in the past year, she said. Grand Rounds, which matches health care providers with patients, opened its first East Coast location in the Bates Mill complex in Lewiston in April 2017. Cirrus LED Systems, a lighting and display maker, relocated its headquarters from San Francisco to Saco in June 2017.
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