Spokane Journal of Business

Olympic Foods starts expansion, upgrades

Juice, bottle maker here undertakes $3.8 million in capital improvements

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Olympic Foods Inc., a Spokane-based company that makes juices, bottles juices, and manufactures plastic beverage bottles has started a warehouse expansion and expects to break ground soon on an office addition at its West Plains facility.

Both projects are among $3.8 million in capital improvements the company is undertaking this year in an effort to accommodate recent growth and allow for future growth, Olympic Foods President and Chief Executive Officer Edward Johnson says. He says the company has enjoyed an average annual growth rate in its sales of 12 percent in recent years and has recently accelerated its sales effort to boost its growth more. He declines to disclose annual sales.

We want to serve our customers efficiently, and, with growth and anticipated growth, we want to make sure we have the facilities to do that, Johnson says.

Olympic Foods, 5625 W. Thorpe Road, has operated here since 1964 and employs 105 people. The company has added two workers since the first of the year, but has no immediate plans to add a significant number of employees, Johnson says.

The company already has begun work on the $1.3 million warehouse expansion, which is scheduled to be completed in late October. Stearn Construction Inc., of Deer Park, is the general contractor on that design-build project.

The warehouse expansion involves adding 25,000 square feet of floor space on the west side of the companys production and storage facility, increasing its size to 115,000 square feet of floor space from 90,000 square feet. Also, the company will convert about 4,000 square feet of current warehouse space in the facility into additional refrigerated storage space as part of that project.

Johnson says the new space, which will be used for supply and material storage, will allow the company to store bottles closer to the production lines on which the bottles are manufactured. Some of those products currently are stored on the opposite end of the facility from where they are produced, Johnson says.

For the $300,000 office addition, Olympic Foods has received a zone change from Spokane County and has selected Garco Construction, of Spokane, as the general contractor. Andy Mahaffey, an architect for Garco, says the construction concern hopes to start work on that 4,000-square-foot addition in early August and complete it in about three months.

The office expansion will give Olympic Foods a total of about 12,000 square feet of office space.

The remaining $2.2 million in improvements planned this year involves extensive manufacturing equipment upgrades as well as upgrades in other departments, Johnson says. The company has completed about 70 percent of those improvements, he says, and expects to finish everything except the building additions by the end of August.

Johnson says Olympic Foods has started the budgeting process for its next fiscal year, which begins Sept. 1, and the companys preliminary plans call for more capital improvements next year. That budget hasnt been approved yet, however, and he declines to disclose details about any potential enhancements until the budget is completed.

Linn  Parish
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Editor Linn Parish has worked for newspapers and magazines since 1996, with the bulk of that time being at the Journal. A Montana boy who has called Spokane home for some time now, Linn likes Northwest trails, Deep South foods, and lead changes in the ninth inning.

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