Cameron + Company
Location: Petaluma, CA
Year Started: 2009
What We Do: Publisher of specialty books on art, photography, regional topics and children’s literature
When aerial photographer Robert Cameron set out to capture San Francisco from a bird's-eye view in 1969, he took a chance and self-published his work in a book titled Above San Francisco. The coffee table book was an immediate success and led to a widely acclaimed aerial photo series of other major cities, including New York, London, Paris, Mexico City and Washington D.C. In 2009, Cameron’s granddaughter, Nina, and her husband, Chris Gruener, purchased the business and relocated it from San Francisco to Petaluma, CA.
Why Sonoma County
Sonoma County has proven to be a perfect place for the Grueners' business and family. Their move came from a desire to create a better work-life balance for their family and have more affordable housing options compared to the rest of the San Francisco Bay Area. Settled into small-town living in Petaluma, the couple can now walk to work and often bring their small children to play among the stacks of books in their cozy, downtown office.
The Grueners have discovered that Sonoma County offers a terrific pool of local design talent. With young, creative types moving to the area, the couple can turn to local photographers, graphic designers and illustrators to help with their book projects. Cameron + Company has been successful in launching its Kiki and Koko children’s book series and their partnership with the San Francisco Giants has led to a children’s book, Smarty Marty’s Got Game, as well as commemorative books of the Giants Championship seasons.
Chris sums up what it’s like to live in Sonoma County: “This area has a rich agricultural heritage mixed with a new generation of young, creative people moving here. I've nicknamed us the Sonoma County Hicksters."