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Stearns Product Development Corporation dba Proluxe Evolves with the Times and Finds its Niche Market

Stearns Product Development doing business as Proluxe opened in 1971 in Perris, CA. Forty-eight years later, the Raio family has built a legacy of success and innovation for three generations. The family-owned business originally opened as a job shop and focused on manufacturing automotive, construction, aerospace, and industrial products. In the 1980’s, an experiment using a shirt press as a pizza dough press worked so well the company decided to refocus their vision and change directions—talk about innovative! The job shop eventually transitioned to a food equipment manufacturing business and became a leader with patented pizza presses known as Proluxe.

Started nearly five decades ago by Gene Raio, the company is now led by second generation owner, CEO Steve Raio along with his son, Chief Marketing Officer Scott Raio.  Over the years, Proluxe has overcome challenges, expanded their operations, and taken advantage of international business opportunities. The Great Recession hit the business hard, as it did many businesses, and Proluxe was forced to strategize.  Raio secured needed capital through SBA loan programs to purchase new equipment, invest in R&D, hire employees and leverage international trade opportunities.

Stearns Product Development discovered a niche market and expanded their products to incorporate related industries. Proluxe is dominating the popular pizza industry along with manufacturing wood fire ovens, tortilla presses, and commercial grilling products. The business draws a diverse consumer profile including restaurants, college cafeterias, hotels, corporate cafeterias, grocery stores, and industrial kitchens. Proluxe also exports to commercial kitchens in Canada, Mexico, several western European countries, Russia, China, Japan, India, Australia, and others.

Proluxe has grown to 100 employees and offers employee benefits such as health insurance, a retirement plan, and dental insurance to attract and retain loyal employees. Additionally, they work with a local Christian organization to hire new employees who may have suffered a hardship and need employment.  The company’s family supportive spirit flows into the local community. Being in the food industry, Proluxe likes to rally around programs that feed people such as the No Kid Hungry charitable organization.

Proluxe and the Raio family showed true resiliency through their ability to evolve with the times and provide employment in the manufacturing sector. The company is a testament for family-owned business success and does well to strengthen the local economy in Perris, California.  

Company Name: 
Stearns Product Development Corporation dba Proluxe
Location: 
Perris, CA
File Attachments: 
Attachments Size
Proluxe_mfg 2069Kb
Proluxe_finished_prod 1557Kb