Pomegranate Communications leaving Sonoma County

  • PC: 13PPomegranate--Katie Burke, along with her husband Tom, recently moved their calendar, book and postcard business to Petaluma from Rohnert Park.

    7/25/2003: P2: Katie Burke, along with her husband, Tom, recently moved their calendar, book and postcard business back to Petaluma from Rohnert Park.

Arts publisher Pomegranate Communications, a Petaluma company with about 30 employees, is leaving Sonoma County after more than a quarter century and moving to Portland.

The company, which produces art books, calendars and other products, was drawn to Oregon by the prospect of lower rents and an attractive, urban environment.

The new facility, located about 10 minutes from the Portland International Airport, will be roughly the same size as Pomegranate's current space, but the 10-year lease will cost about 45 percent less.

"We're saving a lot of money," said co-owner Katie Burke.

Burke and her husband, founder Thomas Burke, love Portland and wanted to relocate to a more urban environment that could offer 84,000 square feet of warehouse and office space at affordable rates.

The company employs about 30 people, including the Burkes and Thomas Burke's son, Darius, a senior director. The three principals and six staff members will make the move to Portland.

Thomas Burke began the company 45 years ago in San Francisco. It came to Sonoma County in the late 1980s and over the years has been located in both Petaluma and Rohnert Park.

The company's products include art books, calendars, cards, paper gift items and puzzles for children and adults.

"In the past five years, we've gotten into jigsaw puzzles in a big way," Burke said.

Independent bookstores and shops have been a key outlet for Pomegranate products.

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