Sale of 2.28 acres of city land closed on Dec. 5
By Stefanie Donahue
Blaine’s business community just got a whole lot sweeter — on December 5, representatives with packaged dessert producer Chuckanut Bay Foods purchased 2.28 acres of city-owned land located at the former site of the Blaine Municipal Airport, also known as the Gateway Parcel, for $396,644.
Once a new production facility is constructed on the site, the business will relocate from Ferndale to Blaine, bringing with it an estimated 80–125 jobs, according to a statement release by the city of Blaine.
Currently operating out of a 5,800 square-foot facility, Chuckanut Bay Foods produces locally-sourced cheesecakes and desserts that are sold at major retailers, including Fred Meyer, Albertsons, Whole Foods, Safeway and more. About a decade ago, owners Matt Roth and Dave Loeppky purchased the business, formerly called Chuckanut Cheesecake. The company’s annual payroll is around $2.5 million for its 80 employees.
In need of space to grow, the owners purchased additional land in Ferndale last year. Not wholly satisfied, they approached the city of Blaine in late 2016 with an offer on part of the 28.4-acre Gateway Parcel. In meetings with the Blaine City Council, Roth and Loeppky said they valued the location’s close proximity to the freeway and existing business partners, such as T.C. Trading Company.
In April, the city followed up with a counter offer and Roth and Loeppky agreed to sign a purchase agreement, which allotted them 120 days to perform due diligence before closing the sale. Per the agreement, the business must adhere to specific performance standards established by the city.
“Chuckanut Bay Foods will eventually employ 80 to 125 people,” said Ron Freeman from Freeman Real Estate, the company responsible for facilitating negotiations. “This will bring an economic enhancement to our community and help strengthen other support businesses in Blaine that currently do business with Chuckanut Bay Foods. I’m hoping that this project will also entice other manufacturers to look at the advantages that Blaine has to offer.”
The owners submitted a building permit application on December 11. Loeppky said they hope to break ground on the new production facility in the spring and open by fall. “We’re delighted to have this decided,” he said.
Learn more about Chuckanut Bay Foods at chuckanutbay.com.