Tacoma-Pierce County – New 27,000-square-foot expansion demonstrates resiliency and commitment to the area, retaining 47 jobs and adding 15 new jobs in time.
S&J Food Distributors is a locally owned company headquartered in Tacoma, Washington. Founded more than 20 years ago, the company has grown to become a leading wholesale food distributor in the Pacific Northwest. The company recently invested $2.85 million in an expansion of two separate facilities in the cities of Lakewood and Tacoma. S&J’s facilities house a U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) certified meat processing plant, spice packaging, and distribution. The expansion will increase S&J’s manufacturing capacity and distribution capability to keep pace with continued growth. Up to 15 new jobs will be added to the region.
To get the project off the ground, the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) provided a $12,500 grant to the company to hire a food safety scientist with Impact Washington. Linda Womack, Director of MBDA said, “We love their story; they started out supplying meats to taco trucks and usually minority-owned vendors that are underserved in the business community. This project was a dream collaboration.” Impact Washington led the company through a rigorous process to ensure the new facility met federal, state, and local standards for food production. “This expansion is a stellar example of how strong ecosystem partnerships can fuel economic growth,” noted Deloit Wolfe, President and Center Director of Impact Washington. “We’re pleased to play a part in the continuing success of S & J Distributors.”
The company still has plans to site an additional facility within the next year. S&J General Manager, Agung Soetamin said, “It has been a roller coaster for us, for our suppliers, and for our customers. We are grateful for the support.”
Permitting assistance from local jurisdictions aided in meeting the company’s tight deadline to complete the project within a year. City of Lakewood Economic Development Manager, Becky Newton stated, “It’s been a pleasure to work with this amazing company and the Pierce County team to open the company here in Lakewood.”
“S&J is a great example of the power of entrepreneurship and hard work that makes small business the backbone of Tacoma’s economy” said Jeff Robinson, City of Tacoma Community and Economic Development Director. “The City congratulates S&J on their expansion and the addition of more living wage jobs in Tacoma and is proud of the partnership between the City, Minority Business Development Agency, Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County and Impact Washington that helped their expansion become a reality.”
“Covid-19 underscored the vital need for businesses to remain nimble,” said Bruce Kendall, President of the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County. “The company is positioning themselves well to come out of this crisis ahead.”