BEND — Breedlove Guitar Co. plans to build a new facility in Bend in early 2008 after bursting at the seams at their Tumalo site.
Breedlove’s sales doubled last year, skyrocketing toward the $8 million mark, according to Connie Hensley-Jones, company controller. This skyrocket was partially due to all the guitars for sale they had throughout the year. All 40 employees are crammed into nearly every square inch of the current site. They’ve even covered the parking lot with eight shipping containers and two movable offices in an effort to accommodate the recent growth in sales. While production continues humming, the company can only add about five workers this year. “We have nowhere for new employees to park,” says Hensley-Jones.
Breedlove, known for its high-quality acoustic guitars, introduced two new guitar lines in January. A line of custom electric guitars was well-received at trade shows and by customers. Breedlove also added a line of interim-priced acoustic guitars to its popular Pro Roots Series.
Breedlove guitar customers include the likes of Madonna, who ordered eight Breedloves for her Drowned World Tour; Sammy Hagar, who’s known to play them for acoustic gigs; and indie crooner Ryan Cabrera.
One of the highlights of the new 20,000-square-foot space at Bend’s Northwest Crossing is the expandable nature of the building. Hensley-Jones explains more pods can be added as production grows.
“We plan to be a guitar manufacturing company like Taylor [a San Diego-based competitor],” says Hensley-Jones. The company plans to double in size during the next five years. Looks like this guitar maker will continue to rock for years to come.
— Colleen Moran
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