Global Logistics Firm Grows By Leaps and Bounds in its Portland Home
UTi Worldwide grew from 14 employees to more than 230 in just 18 months thanks in part to a $250,000 loan from Business Oregon.
The successful effort that brought California-based food processor Amy's Kitchen to White City in 2006 continues to pay dividends for the local community and its residents.
In the summer of 2012, the company embarked on its latest expansion with the construction of $9 million worth of additional production capacity. The expansion will result in a 50% increase in the company's production capacity for its frozen food entrée line and will require the addition of 60 to 80 new workers, company officials said. The company currently employs approximately 750 workers at the White City facility.
The production capacity increase comes upon the heels of the company's construction of a new 140,000-square-foot warehouse and an addition on to an existing frozen foods warehouse. Those projects were completed in April 2012.
The Santa Clara, California-based natural foods company expanded to southern Oregon in 2006 to open a new $60 million production facility thanks in part to a $375,000 forgivable loan from the Governor's Strategic Reserve Fund, which is administered by Business Oregon.
The successful recruitment resulted in the creation of almost 700 jobs by 2008 and the additional benefit of a new market for the region's bounty of agricultural products. The family-owned business is a leading national brand of organic and vegetarian frozen foods.
By 2008, Amy's Kitchen's White City facility produced $100 million of products per year including 85,000 frozen pizzas and 50,000 frozen entrées per day! The west coast of the U.S. is the largest market for organic foods in the nation and Amy's Kitchen is one of the nation's top producers of packaged organic foods and soups.
The facility was built with the idea of expanding to meet the continued growth of the company that was founded in 1987 by Andy and Rachel Berliner. "I never thought we'd fill our Santa Rosa facility and now it's too crowded," Rachel Berliner said as the Oregon factory opened. "I know we will grow into this one and it will expand."
Oregon strives to create a complementary relationship between a clean environment and a robust economy, taking innovative and long-term views when investing in economic development.