Business

A longtime Bellingham company was sold. Here's what it means for the waterfront.

A view of Bellingham Cold Storage, taken in 2015, from Bellingham Bay. The facility is now under new ownership, with Seattle-based Joshua Green Corporation buying a majority stake.
A view of Bellingham Cold Storage, taken in 2015, from Bellingham Bay. The facility is now under new ownership, with Seattle-based Joshua Green Corporation buying a majority stake. The Bellingham Herald

A longtime major waterfront business is now under new ownership.

The Joshua Green Corporation, a Seattle-based investment firm, has purchased a majority stake in Bellingham Cold Storage. The Talbot family, which founded the company in 1946, will remain as shareholders and Doug Thomas, BCS's president and CEO, will remain in that position. Financial terms about the deal were not disclosed in a Tuesday afternoon news release.

The purchase includes both the waterfront and the Orchard Drive facilities, which employ around 150 people. Joshua Green Corporation doesn't plan to make any major changes to staffing or business operations, viewing this as a long-term investment, according to the news release.

"We recognize the importance that a business plays in the life of its employees and within a community," said Stanley McCammon, company president and CEO, said in the news release.

Siblings Stowe and Jane Talbot are third-generation owners of Bellingham Cold Storage, as well as the Barkley Village real estate development. In late 2017 they began looking for an investment partner that would allow the Talbots to remain involved in the company at a reduced level while encouraging its future growth.

"They (Joshua Green Corporation) impressed us with their experience investing in companies like ours and with their values, vision and optimism. BCS team members and customers will appreciate the capabilities JGC can provide to improve and expand our services," Stowe Talbot said.

McCammon noted that being located between Vancouver B.C. and Seattle with access to international ports means that there is great potential for growth. They plan on working with the management team at BCS and the Port of Bellingham to explore those opportunities, he said.

BCS2.jpg
Stanley McCammon, president of Joshua Green Corporation, left, with Jane Talbot, Stowe Talbot and Doug Thomas. Joshua Green Corporation has become a majority owner of Bellingham Cold Storage, which has been in the Talbot family since 1946 and employs around 150 people. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald Bellingham Cold Storage

Thomas said he is excited about the new ownership.

"It's good for our employees, for our customers and for the economic development of Whatcom County," Thomas said.

In 1941, Archibald Talbot purchased what was the Bellingham Shipyards, which built minesweepers and barges for the U.S. Navy during World War II and the Korean War. Talbot established the cold storage business nearby in 1946 as a way to diversify after World War II ended.

Bellingham Cold Storage now handles more than 200 million pounds of food per year, including seafood, berries and processed products.

Joshua Green Corporation tends to hold assets for decades and also operates the Joshua Green Foundation, according to its website. The foundation has been in existence since 1963, providing grants to the communities in King County.

Dave Gallagher: 360-715-2269, @BhamHeraldBiz
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