Moving

A lot-loved San Francisco Bay Space firm broadcasts transfer to Utah

A company that has stuck around the San Francisco Bay Area for 43 years announced it’s moving to Utah in the spring.

Mrs. Grossman’s Paper Company, credited with spawning the sticker craze of the 1980s, is shutting down its Petaluma headquarters and factory, citing the high cost of doing business in California as one reason for leaving the state, a letter posted online at the start of 2022 said. The company said it has purchased a new building in Utah.

The factory was long been a destination for local families and school children who got an up-close look at the sticker-making process — dancing bears and jelly beans being printed and cut on massive machines — on guided tours. The tour ended in the craft room where kids created their own art piece with piles of vibrant and glittery stickers. The tours stopped in 2019.

The company said it’s also closing its wholesale business, which struggled in the COVID pandemic, and will focus on online sales and its sticker club, which mails new designs to members every month.

“With redirected effort in these two areas, we plan on offering a lot more on our website and boost our club offering,” the company said. “In 2022 you will see some products that we are currently out-of-stock of come back while also adding products that we have not had in many, many years.”

Andrea Grossman launched the company in 1979 with a glossy red heart sticker that has become a symbol of the 1980s sticker mania, when kids plastered books with their collections of stickers.

The story goes that a friend who owned a gift shop in Sausalito asked Grossman to design a heart to stick on gift wrap for Valentine’s Day, a bio posted on the company site said.

Grossman sent a design to a label maker, asking that the hearts be printed on sheets. Instead, the stickers were printed on rolls, like ribbons.

“Andrea immediately realized this dazzling ‘mistake’ could turn into something pretty interesting,” the site said. “These gorgeous heart stickers could be more than something to decorate a product; they just might be the product itself.”

Grossman designed more stickers and launched “stickers by the yard” at a national stationery show. She was flooded with orders.

“America Is Getting Stuck-Up,” read a 1984 story in People magazine.

“Grossman … made a flock of hearts, sold them on a roll and attracted so many adherents that she now peddles 150 varieties worldwide,” the article in People said.

Grossman’s son Jason Grossman is now president of the company, and he told ABC 7 that’s he’s sad about the move.

“I mean, we’ve been to an institution here forever,” he said.

He added: “The pandemic changed things. I just found moving out of this state easier for business, and I need everything easier now, I’m getting old.”

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