Biz Beat

Biz Beat: Turlock’s Dust Bowl looking to hire dozens of workers

“It started as a hobby that turned into a business that turned into a company.”

That’s how founder and co-owner Brett Tate described Dust Bowl Brewing Co., which started seven years ago with him and brewmaster Don Oliver. And now the company employs 100 people and is looking to hire dozens more.

Dust Bowl is holding a job fair next week at its new site just off Highway 99.

“We expect to hire 75-100 new employees to cover our front- and back-of-the-house needs,” spokeswoman Michelle Peterson said in an email. She and Tate told me at the site Tuesday that estimate is conservative.

That’s for the restaurant, which is expected to open in July and, combined with an outdoor beer garden, can seat up to 400 people. The brewery side of the business, now in the testing stage, will open a month earlier if all goes as planned.

When I stopped by Tuesday afternoon, it was hard to believe it was the same place that was a blank plot of land at the groundbreaking a little more than a year ago.

The massive building is a mix of old and new, going for the same industrial chic vibe conveyed by the taproom in downtown Turlock – which, by the way, will stay open. Reclaimed wood from the Port of Oakland wraps much of the interior and exterior walls, Peterson said. Inside, she pointed out mounts that will hold digital beer boards that will interact with your phone and let you know what’s being poured and when.

“Guests can engage on social, such as Twitter or Untappd, while visiting the taproom,” she said. And when they put down their phones, they can play lawn games that will include a massive Connect Four, bocce and cornhole.

Back to the hiring – candidates will be screened on site, 2000 Fulkerth Road, May 17-19 from 8 to 10 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. for jobs that include hosts, servers, food runners, bar backs, bartenders, line cooks, food runners, food prep, expos and dishwashers. An expo is the person who communicates from the chefs to the wait staff. Applicants are encouraged to go online to and download an application. For more information, email

Elsewhere around the Business Beat:

It’s always great to see local companies doing good things. The Raley’s grocery chain commemorated a year of working with iFoster, a nonprofit group aimed at helping people in the foster and adoption systems, by hosting 1,000 foster youth at the Sacramento River Cats baseball game Saturday.

In the last year, according to a press release issued Tuesday, Raley’s has hired 17 foster youth, “with several more candidates currently under consideration.” Since Raley’s started its program, 10 other companies have joined in, resulting in jobs for more than 100 young people in Placer and Los Angeles counties.

“We are so grateful to Raley’s for being the first company to work with iFoster to develop our training program and hiring our youth,” Serita Cox, executive director of iFoster, said in the release.

May is Foster Care Awareness Month.

And finally, some good news for fans of Chefs of New York.

The popular east Modesto eatery, which is located on Oakdale Road, is opening a second location downtown. It’s going into a spot on the corner of 14th and J streets previously occupied by Charlie Brown’s and, prior to that, Tasty Taco.

Chefs of New York specializes in pizza and pasta, its website proclaiming it’s “the finest in town.” I haven’t yet tried the CONY pizza, but have had the restaurant’s pasta and it’s pretty darn tasty.

I spoke briefly with the folks at Chefs of New York, who confirmed the plans. Plans call for doors to open at the new restaurant in June. They promised to keep me posted, and I will do the same.