A Canadian food manufacturer has signed a lease to operate a production facility that could mean 20 new jobs.
The Port of Bellingham announced that Nanak Foods of Surrey, British Columbia, agreed to lease 40,000 square feet at Bellingham Cold Storage. The company is making a $6 million investment, which includes putting in equipment, according to port officials.
Bellingham Cold Storage Chief Financial Officer Brad Flinn confirmed the signing, adding that Nanak will be going into the former Sargento space. Gurpreet Arneja, president of Nanak, did not respond to messages left Friday afternoon.
“We’re excited to have them here,” said Flinn, noting that the company was previously a BCS customer of its storage services. The lease begins in June, and Flinn believes production would begin later this year.
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Entering the U.S. market comes at a good time for many Canadian firms. With the Canadian dollar hovering around 76 cents compared with the U.S. dollar, there is an incentive for Canadian businesses to enter this market.
What makes this an attractive lease for BCS is that it is a year-round food manufacturer. It adds to the mix of the many seasonal tenants, which include fish processing and agriculture.
With this lease, BCS is nearly full, Flinn said. Even with the addition of the 330,000-square-foot Preferred Freezer building in Lynden two years ago, there is still demand for cold storage space in the region. Flinn said last year was a particularly strong year for berries, while area fishing numbers were down.