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San Francisco SBA District Office honors Tom Frainier as Small Businessperson of the Year

Release Date: 
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Release Number: 
SFDO 13-06
Advisory Date: 
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Advisory Number: 
Marlow Schindler (415) 744-6771

Tom FrainierSAN FRANCISCO – Semifreddi’s President Tom Frainier has been named the U.S. Small Business Administration San Francisco District's Northern California Small Businessperson of the Year.

In business for over 28 years, Semifreddi’s is a family-owned business with 130 employees.  Semifreddi’s bakes over 200,000 loaves of bread and 40,000 pastries weekly for distribution at more than 500 stores and cafes in the greater San Francisco Bay Area, as well as to larger chain stores such as Safeway, Trader Joe’s and Luckys. They also have two café locations in the East Bay.

Semifreddi’s was started by Tom, his sister, Barbara, and his brother-in-law Mike, who is still active in the management of the company.

In 2009, Semifreddi’s took out an SBA-guaranteed 504 loan through the Certified Development Company Bay Area Development Company and Bank of the West to purchase a 36,597 square foot building in Alameda to serve as their main bakery.

“Semifreddi’s is the perfect client for us. They have a well-established and very well run growing company and the 504 financing we did for them helped them to obtain a state-of-the-art building that is large enough to accommodate their company growth and help them to create more good jobs for the Bay Area.” said Jim Baird, CEO of Bay Area Development Company.

Frainier was selected for this award, in part, for the job creation he has brought to the Bay Area but also for his work greening his business and giving back to the community.Semifreddi’s conducts over 75 school tours a year, and donates an annual value of over $500,000 in bread to schools, churches, synagogues, mosques, temples and community organizations to be served to those in need and sold at fundraising events. 95% of waste generated at the bakery is recycled, through composting or by being processed into food pellets for chicken feed.

“We are pleased to recognize Tom’s contributions to the Northern California small business community,” said San Francisco District Director Mark Quinn. “He is a role model for other entrepreneurs.”

The San Francisco District Office, Bank of the West and Bay Area Development Company will honor Semifreddi’s Bakery with a reception and award presentation on Wednesday May 8th from 4 to 6 pm.

“We don’t do it for the recognition, but it is nice to be recognized both for trying to make the best bread and pastries in the world and for our work-life balance,” said Frainier. 

In addition, Frainier will receive an award at the San Francisco Small Business Week Awards Ceremony on the evening of May 16th, at the City Club Penthouse, 155 Sansome Street hosted by the Small Business Commission.

The San Francisco SBA District Office covers Alameda, Contra Costa, Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, San Francisco San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, and Sonoma Counties. In Fiscal Year 2012, the District guaranteed over 1,500 small business loans valued at $807 million.  125 banks, credit unions and community lenders participated in this program. Annually, the San Francisco District Office cohosts over 1,000 training events for over 50,000 Bay Area small businesses or prospective businesses from SBA resource partners.


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