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What Are These San Diego Companies Working on Right Now?

Three leading San Diego companies give us the scoop on their latest projects


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Petco

The local corporation with 1,500 stores across the country and in Mexico has ambitions beyond squeak toys and kibble. Petco is diversifying into pet prescriptions and remodeling stores to include full-service veterinary offices. In November, it acquired local monthly subscription service PupBox, a startup that gained national exposure as a contestant on ABC’s Shark Tank.

Petco spokesperson Lisa Stark says the company is “focusing on services in an Amazon world.”

“In a time where a lot of retailers are closing stores,” she says, “we’re making investments.”

Their idea is to make pet care more affordable and convenient; a routine exam is just $10. It’s remodeling stores in California, Texas, and Colorado first, including the Petco on West Valley Parkway in Escondido, slated to debut its revamped look this month.

“Helping people improve the well-being of their pets while deepening their bond is at the core of our mission,” says CEO Brad Weston.

 

Kashi

The Solana Beach–based brand known for its healthy cereal and bars has a new initiative to help farmers transition to organic crops. Making the switch is typically expensive and time-consuming, so it’s no surprise that according to the USDA, just 1 percent of the country’s farmland is organic.

Kashi teamed up with San Diego–based organic certifier Quality Assurance International to create a new protocol called “certified transitional.” The label means farmers can get slightly higher prices for their crops during their three-year transition to certified organic agriculture. Kashi’s certified transitional products so far include the Dark Cocoa Karma Shredded Wheat Biscuits cold cereal and Chewy Nut Butter Bars. The dates used in the bars are grown by a certified transitional farmer in Coachella Valley.

“Our hope is that the collective use of this protocol, across multiple companies and industries, will speed the switch to organics at a much larger scale than Kashi could accomplish alone,” says Nicole Nestojko, Kashi’s senior director of supply chain and sustainability.

 

Viasat

Carlsbad’s ViaSat is one of the country’s biggest names behind internet and communication technology services for consumers, businesses, the government and military, as well as the in-flight Wi-Fi provider for American Airlines, United, and JetBlue. They recently launched the world’s most powerful communications satellite to date, ViaSat-2, with an industry-­topping throughput of 300 gigabits per second.

President of broadband services Keven Lippert says the new satellite will improve speeds, reduce costs, and expand the availability of internet services across the Americas, the Caribbean, and the North Atlantic. From an altitude of about 22,000 miles, ViaSat-2 will beam internet service to places that can’t otherwise get reliable connections.

“This will bring speeds and quality comparable to cable anywhere in the US,” Lippert says. “It’ll bring a cable-like experience to people who don’t have cable-provided internet.”


Learn about ViaSat and other San Diego companies with Q&As, workshops, food, musica and more at our Behind the Brands event, February 1 at WeWork Downtown.

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