Food manufacturer expands into Bellingham

A food manufacturer is expanding its operations in Whatcom County by leasing 35,000 square feet of space at Bellingham Cold Storage’s Orchard Drive facility.

Inventure Foods announced in a news release that the new space at 500 W. Orchard Drive will be used as a dedicated packaging center. The company has a berry processing facility at Rader Farms in Lynden and will move the packaging portion into Bellingham. The change will allow the company to grow its processing operations in Lynden and more than triple the size of its packaging space. The company expects to begin its packaging operations in Bellingham in April, according to the news release.

Terry McDaniel, CEO of Inventure Foods, said consumer demand for healthy natural foods is driving the expansion. The quick-freeze facility in Lynden processes 55 million pounds of berries each year, according to the company.

“Demand is a great problem to have, so we must constantly identify manufacturing efficiencies that allow for future growth,” McDaniel said.

Doug Thomas, president of Bellingham Cold Storage, said they’ve enjoyed a good, long-term relationship with Rader Farms and the new facility will improve food safeguards and logistical features to produce more quick-freeze products.

With the lease signing, Thomas said Bellingham Cold Storage is nearly full, with one remaining space being used for storage.

Along with facilities in Lynden and soon Bellingham, Inventure operates two quick-freeze fruit processing plants in Salem, Ore. and two vegetable processing plants in Georgia. The company works with a variety of brands to produce snack products, including Jamba Juice and Seattle’s Best Coffee.

Dave Gallagher: 360-715-2269, @BhamHeraldBiz