Located just down the road from our original location in Bellingham, WA, we’ve now found a new home for our growing business in Burlington, WA. This comes after a three-year search for the perfect facility that would meet the needs of our employees and our loyal customers.
With about 15,000 square feet in our previous Bellingham facility, we have now more than doubled our size with our new facility’s 41,000 square feet.
“This is perfect for us,” says Bryon Meade, one of our owners and our COO. “It has everything we need from a conference room and lunch room to clean spaces, high ceilings and loading docks … It’s a great environment for employees. The extra breathing room is good for space and added safety.” The expansion also brings us even closer to some of our farm suppliers.
With an increasing number of customers looking for high-quality feed, we needed to grow and create new efficiencies in order to meet demands locally as well as online. “Scratch and Peck has a really loyal following with our customers,” says Diane Kimker, Department Lead for the Whatcom Farmers Co-op (CHS Northwest). “We can hardly keep Scratch and Peck’s Cluckin’ Good Grubs in stock.” Each year we also go to CHS to share our knowledge at the store’s Chick Days, educating customers on chickens and the products.
Kelcie Faver, with Hohl Feed and Seed in downtown Bellingham, knows the value of high-quality feed for their customers. “What they are doing is amazing,” says Faver of our products. “I love how much they have grown and are still the same small local company treating us like we’re all really special.”
Hohl Feed and Seed participated in our “Organic from Day One” promotion. The chicks in their store were fed our Naturally Free Organic Starter feed from their first day. “They are doing really well,” says Faver. “It’s important for our customers to know where the food comes from and Scratch and Peck Feeds provides that.”
It is with that mindset that great effort was put into the development and choice for our new location. “We have to be flexible, modular and ready for change,” says Meade. “Formulas change, as so much can change in the business. We know we have to be ready for that.”
The exterior silos and loading docks provide an incredible time-saving component when it comes to receiving shipments of ingredients. “What used to take an hour to unload, now takes around 20 minutes,” explains Meade. Our new location touts several exterior silos that house the major ingredients for each of our feeds. Several smaller silos are located inside the facility for the more minor ingredients. Using American-made equipment, our new mill houses an elaborate, automated system that now provides efficiency, safety and metrics. “I feel like we’ve taken our business to the next level,” says Meade.
We’ve now added an automated bagging line that replaces one of the most back-breaking jobs in the warehouse, reducing injury and allowing for the employees to focus on other parts of the process as well as the growth of the business!
Of our new conference room, Meade says, “You never know what you missed until you have it.” The conference room has become a meaningful space to have meetings and connect with the different departments of the company. “We used to all try to cram into one person’s office,” he describes. Beyond the added efficiencies of clean space and automation are the additional benefits felt and seen by our employees. Meade describes with excitement that his vintage piano has found a home in the lunch room that has also become a home for a few guitars. With musicians on staff, our breakroom has become a great place to catch a quick break, eat lunch and have fun with each other. And, being next to one of the county’s coffee roasters, Fidalgo Coffee Roasters, means fresh coffee all day long!
With camaraderie, teamwork and commitment, we have embraced the new facility and strengthened our resolve to ensure the quality of our products. “It all just came together thanks to the team,” says Meade.
This article originally appeared on WhatcomTalk.com.