Bucking a trend, the Unicorn Group recently moved its design, printing, marketing and mailing operation into Bel Marin Keys from San Rafael. The company saw a good fit at the 11,175 square feet of space at 83 Hamilton Drive, one recently vacated when Office Playground moved to Petaluma to accommodate its own need for expansion.
The industrial park in southern Novato has experienced a mini-exodus over the past year as businesses depart for room to expand. Why is Unicorn Group swimming upstream? Partly because it's convenient for Unicorn Group owner Mark Schmidt, a Novato resident. Also, with recent departures, there was ample room in Bel Marin Keys for this growing firm.
“The Bel Marin Keys business parks just had more available space," Schmidt said. "San Rafael doesn’t have as many options for space needs over 11,000 square feet.”
According to the Unicorn Group website, the business has “continued to grow and we now need larger, more energy efficient facilities to handle the growth. After an extensive search, we have settled on a much larger unit allowing us to effectively serve our expanding customer base.”
Unicorn is a family-owned business that has been around for more than 30 years providing services for many local companies and nonprofits. Some of their better-known clientele includes the Marin Humane Society, the Novato Human Needs Center, BioMarin, Bio Search, the Novato Sanitary District and Big Cat Advertising. Unicorn also does a lot of business for local contractors, retailers and customers in the B-to-B and B-to-C spaces.
Schmidt said Unicorn has quadrupled its business over the past eight years through acquisitions. Schmidt first bought Unicorn Printing, then Mail Communications, and Guarantee Mailing Services. From the progressive mergers came the formation of the Unicorn Group.
The new Novato operation was up and running as of Oct. 8. Schmidt said that Unicorn plans on hiring at least one additional customer service person and expect to hire more part-time positions over the next three months. The company currently employs nine to 12 people depending on seasonal demands.
Last year Schmidt’s firm was awarded the Small Business of the Year by the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce. It also was honored at last year's 18th Annual Spirit of Marin Awards and recognized for its generosity and service to Marin County.
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