Flavor manufacturing company is 'open for business' in Kyle

Sovereign Flavors Logo on the front of the new building
Apr 15, 2024
Justin Sayers - Senior Staff Writer, Austin Business Journal

California-based Sovereign Flavors Inc. is open for business in Kyle, south of Austin.

Representatives from the beverage development and flavor company said they are "absolutely" looking for new customers to take on at its new 40,000-square-foot manufacturing facility at 341 Plum Creek Meadows. The company and city held a ceremonial ribbon cutting on April 4.

The company likes to call itself a "flavor house." Basically, it manufactures flavors, does flavor matching and works to develop custom flavors for alcoholic beverages, non-alcoholic beverages and some food items like nutrition bars, cookies and gummies. It boasts of having more than 1,300 flavors, and its products are sold in major retailers such as Safeway, Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe's and Target, according to its website. Flavors are organic and meet other requirements, such as being kosher.

Officials have declined to name any customers but said they range from large brands to emerging companies and startups. Sovereign Flavors is primarily a business-to-business company, and about one-third of the staff are research-and-design members led by a Michelin Star restaurant-trained chef.

"We are thrilled to be opening in the great state of Texas – the epicenter of craft food and beverage innovation," Sovereign Flavors President and CEO David Ames said in a statement. "This is just the beginning of an exciting new chapter for Sovereign Flavors, and we remain steadfast in our mission to empower our employees to deliver unparalleled quality and service to our valued customers."

Company officials previously said they picked Kyle to be closer to customers they amassed across the country in Sovereign Flavors' 20 years of operations. They were looking for a central location to reduce lead times and transportation costs. Texas' location and Kyle's emergence as a hub for manufacturing and innovation in the food industry sealed the deal.

The company has been growing rapidly since it launched in 2003. Its footprint has swelled into a 40,000-square-foot, four-building corporate headquarters campus in Santa Ana, about 30 miles south of Los Angeles in Orange County. There, the company houses its administration, along with manufacturing, sales, customer service, quality assurance, production, lab development and warehouse space.

The Kyle location will house manufacturing space, production quality assurance and customer service components. Officials noted they have about 70 employees currently between the California and Texas sites — and they're growing. The plan was to start with roughly 10 employees in Kyle.

“In Kyle, we’re all about setting standards and leading by example,” Kyle Mayor Travis Mitchell said in a statement. “Sovereign Flavors, their staff, and their new facility, that is situated in a prime development location, fits that mold and vision. We’re happy to welcome Sovereign Flavors to town and look forward to our continued partnership.”

This new employer highlights a continued wave of businesses flocking to Kyle, which is about 20 miles south of downtown Austin. It has a population of about 58,000 and is among the fastest-growing cities of its size in the country. The suburb is attracting a number of employers in the food manufacturing and distribution industries, such as ATX Specialty Foods — a contract manufacturer of dips, sauces and more — and Costco Wholesale Corp.

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