By Stefanie Donahue
Known for their tiramisu, fruitcake and specialty cheesecakes, the folks at Chuckanut Bay Foods are building a reputation and have their sight set on expansion – many in the community hope they move to Blaine.
Late last year, representatives from the business made an offer on an estimated 2-acre plot of land that falls within the bounds of the former Blaine Municipal Airport. Following a regular meeting on April 10, Blaine City Council issued a counter offer in closed session, said city manager Dave Wilbrecht.
“Hopefully, we’ll know soon whether they’ve accepted the city’s offer,” he said. “Everyone is excited about the fact that people are interested in the property. We’re hopeful we can make a deal.”
Ferndale-based Chuckanut Bay Foods started more than 25 years ago and was purchased by current owners Matt Roth and Dave Loeppky about nine years ago. Formerly called Chuckanut Cheesecake, the company has grown from two employees when it first started to 80 and pays an estimated $2.5 million in wages per year.
Chuckanut Bay Foods’ cheesecake is crafted with ingredients from local farms and made from scratch. The made-to-order cheesecakes come in dozens of different flavors and are sold at major retailers, including Fred Meyer, Albertsons, Whole Foods, Safeway and more. Now located at a 5,800-square-foot facility in Ferndale, Roth and Loeppky are looking to grow, fast.
“The real story is that we are outgrowing our facility,” Roth said before the April 10 meeting. “We just feel there are some advantages to the Blaine property.”
The duo has already purchased land in Ferndale to grow their business, but admire the Blaine property’s close freeway access and proximity to existing business partners, including T.C. Trading Company.
During the regular meeting on Monday, members of the city and Blaine business community expressed support for the business moving its headquarters to Blaine.
“It’s a lot of jobs,” Roth said. “It’s more than just a real estate transaction.”