- Written by Michaela Humby, WBO Intern 2.14.2016
Cali Bamboo is an American company based in Southern California that manufactures sustainable materials for high quality building projects. Their main product is bamboo. They have begun implementing other materials, including cork, eucalyptus, and recycled/reclaimed decking, but we’ll turn our focus to the bamboo aspect of this company.
Cali Bamboo was founded by Jeff Goldberg (President, CEO) and Tanner Haigwood (Vice President Business Development). These two college friends came up with this idea in 2004 while on year long “surfing sabbatical” in Kauai. To help fund their adventure, they had to start working odd jobs. One of the odd jobs was cutting down bamboo. While working, Jeff noticed that the bamboo would be great for building materials. He also noticed and how bamboo grew so quickly compared to traditional trees and has incredible durability. He says, “Bamboo has structural properties that give it higher tensile strength than steel. In fact, bamboo scaffolding is being used in China and Hong Kong instead of steel. Not only is it cheaper, but it is also environmentally friendly.”
Jeff and Tanner had been discussing running a business that would be beneficial for the planet and had great company culture that treated employees and customers like family. They both agreed that only an environmentally sustainable product would do well. While the two were still on their surfing adventure, Jeff broke his foot and had to return to San Diego. Within a week of returning, he took a home equity line of credit in order to fund the business. Cali Bamboo has a “work hard, play hard” mentality in their office. They have Ping-Pong tables, a basketball court, and allow you to take your pets to work. This shows that Cali Bamboo not only values their employees and their professional growth, but they are committed to their happiness, too.
Cali Bamboo has been a successful company from the beginning. Cali Bamboo was recognized as a ‘Top 40 Workplace’ by the San Diego Union-Tribune in 2014 and San Diego Business Journals’ ‘Healthiest Companies’ in 2015. Cali Bamboo has also made the Inc. 5000 list seven years in a row. To show the satisfaction of working at such an outstanding company, I asked a few employees to tell us reasons why they love working at Cali Bamboo:
"I love working at Cali Bamboo because of the people, the culture, and being able to wear what I want to work." -Matt, Sales
"I love coming into work on Monday mornings to play with all the dogs!" -Vince, Sales
"Exciting work environment with a great culture and company values." -Steven, Sales
"As a rapidly-growing organization, every day is a different challenge, but this makes for an exciting, fast-paced environment where everyone is genuinely invested in the company’s mission. I have found that you truly get out what you put into it here – if you work hard you will be rewarded." -Milica, Human Resources
"I have worked at Cali Bamboo for 6 years and I really can’t imagine working anywhere else. The laid-back atmosphere is second to none and everyone who works here is very positive and upbeat. Management is approachable and supportive of professional growth." - Walker, Marketing
"I have been with Cali Bamboo for a number of years and it is by far the best work environment of my career. Management genuinely cares about employees’ growth, and the owners know all of us by name. I love that I can bring my dog to work with me everyday!" - Nick, Marketing
The employees are extremely happy, hardworking, and are all helping the industry become more sustainable and environmentally aware. The World Bamboo Organization thanks Cali Bamboo for being a Corporate Partner!