Located just down the road in Burlington, Scratch and Peck Feeds has found a new home to fit their growing business. This comes after a three-year search for the perfect facility that would meet the needs of the employees and their customers.
“This is perfect for us,” says Bryon Meade, Scratch and Peck Feeds Owner and 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 them even closer to some of their farm suppliers.
With about 15,000 square feet in their previous Bellingham facility, Scratch and Peck Feeds has now more than doubled their size with the new facility’s 41,000 square feet. They have so much room, they are currently leasing out 10,000 square feet.
With an avid and loyal following of customers looking for high-quality feed, Scratch and Peck Feeds needed to grow and create new efficiencies in order to meet growing demands locally as well as online. “We have a really loyal following,” says Diane Kimker, Department Lead for the Whatcom Farmers Co-op (CHS Northwest) of Scratch and Peck Feeds’ products. “We can hardly keep the Cluckin’ Good Grubs in stock.”
Kimker goes on to explain an incredible benefit of the Scratch and Peck Feeds brand. Each year their staff comes in to share their wealth of knowledge at CHS Northwest’s Chick Days, educating customers on chickens and the products.
With the new amenities in the new facility, Scratch and Peck Feeds is looking forward to further serving the needs of Whatcom County. “We love Bellingham and Whatcom County,” says Meade. “Our family all lives here.”
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 Scratch and Peck Feeds’ products. “I love how much they have grown and are still the same small local company treating us like we’re all really special.”
Faver explains that they participated in the “Organic from Day One” promotion created by Scratch and Peck Feeds. The chicks in their store were fed Naturally Free Organic Starter feed from their first day, provided by Scratch and Peck Feeds. “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 their 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.”
Scratch and Peck Feeds’ new location touts several exterior silos that house the major ingredients for each of their feeds. Several smaller silos are located inside the facility for the more minor ingredients. Using American-made equipment, the new facility 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.
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.
And, soon, they will add an automated bagging line that will replace 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.
Beyond the added efficiencies of clean space and automation are the additional benefits felt and seen by the employees of Scratch and Peck Feeds. 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, the space has become a great place to catch a quick break, eat lunch and have fun with coworkers. And, being next to one of the county’s coffee roasters, Fidalgo Coffee Roasters, means fresh coffee all day long for the employees.
Of their 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.
With camaraderie, teamwork and commitment, the knowledgeable staff at Scratch and Peck Feeds have embraced the new facility and strengthened their resolve to ensure the quality of their products. “It all just came together thanks to the team,” says Meade.