Joni Industries is leaving the industrial park at Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport and spreading its wings.
The family-owned and operated business — devoted in recent years to printing, machine embroidering and product decorating — is responding to a survey in which customers throughout the Tampa Bay area said they wished the company were closer to them, explained owner Gus Guadagnino.
In response, Joni is in the process of seeking smaller sites where it can make its products available in Brooksville, Spring Hill, Wesley Chapel and, eventually, Pinellas County.
"We're answering our customer needs," Guadagnino said.
Also, changes in product demand and transport of raw materials have reduced the need for a lot of space, Guadagnino said.
Founded in 1985 for the manufacture of pencils, a large building was necessary at that time to house production machines and to stockpile cedar from which to make the product. Look in any school classroom and ascertain the need for pencils nowadays, Guadagnino suggested.
Then, consider what once was the need for bulk inventory of raw goods.
"In today's world, we get on-demand ordering," he said. "Now I can order a smaller amount, so I don't have the need for storage. ... With the equipment we have, we can (turn out product) in a small space."
In short, Gaudagnino said, "I'm sitting on 7,000 square feet I'm not using."
Joni expects to begin making its moves in about a month.
The company currently employs 11 workers, plus eight others who sell Joni products in areas beyond Brooksville. With the outreach, Gaugadnino said, "We'll probably increase our employee roster, but not by much."
Guadagnino's wife, Annmarie, is company co-owner; son, Joseph, is vice president in charge of marketing, and daughter, Nicole Guadagnino, oversees purchasing and accounts receivable.
Joni's 12,400-square-foot building at 16230 Aviation Loop Drive is for sale, lease or lease to purchase.
"That's the good thing; he's open to discussion," said Valerie Pianta, Hernando County's supervisor of economic development.
In helping to market the property, the county Department of Business Development is advertising the building on its real estate website and via the Tampa Bay Partnership.
Pianta noted the building's attractions: "right out front" facing Spring Hill Drive, "lots of air-conditioned space" and "plenty of office space."
Beth Gray can be contacted at [email protected]