Business

Ferndale-based Hempler’s acquires Washington firm

Argelis Quintanar, left, cuts Canadian bacon into 5-pound halves as she and other workers package the meat at Hempler Foods Group Wednesday April 20, 2011 in Ferndale.The company has acquired another Washington firm, Fletcher’s Fine Foods, in a deal worth about $5 million.
Argelis Quintanar, left, cuts Canadian bacon into 5-pound halves as she and other workers package the meat at Hempler Foods Group Wednesday April 20, 2011 in Ferndale.The company has acquired another Washington firm, Fletcher’s Fine Foods, in a deal worth about $5 million. THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

Ferndale-based Hempler’s has acquired another Washington company, continuing its recent trend of growth in the Pacific Northwest.

Hempler Foods Group bought the business and certain assets of Fletcher’s Fine Foods of Algona, according to a news release from Hempler’s parent company, Premium Brands Holdings Corp. The purchase price for Fletcher’s was $5 million and does not include the Algona plant. The deal is expected to close in September.

As for the workers at the Algona facility, 25 out of about 40 are being offered positions at either the Ferndale plant or in Kent, where the Isernio’s products acquired by Hempler’s last year are produced, said Stephen Bates, president of Hempler’s. Both the Kent and Ferndale plants will add the Fletcher’s products to production.

“We think this is a good fit for Hempler’s. This is an excellent product,” Bates said.

Hempler’s has steadily grown in recent years. It currently has around 125 employees at the Ferndale plant, which is more than double the workforce of five years ago, Bates said.

The company was founded by Hans Hempler in 1934 when he acquired another company. Hans’ son and granddaughter, Dick Hempler and Kestin Hempler, remained involved in the company. Hempler’s became known locally for its sausages and bacon, but has a variety of other meat products, including ham, chicken and turkey.

Fletcher’s Fine Foods sells bacon and sausage products in the Pacific Northwest and has annual sales of around $17 million, according to the news release. The acquisition brings together three iconic Pacific Northwest brands: Hempler’s, Isernio’s and Fletcher’s, said George Paleologou, president of Premium Brands Holdings, which is based in Vancouver, B.C.

Dave Gallagher: 360-715-2269, @BhamHeraldBiz

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