2012 looks to be a great year for Blue Mountain Station, the world’s first natural and organic food park. With our property now ready for development, there is growing interest in the project. Food product trade shows are beginning for the year. Next week we will be attending the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim. We are also exploring some other new options to help get the ball rolling.
The magazine, Brand Packaging, ran an article (click here to read the article on Brand Magazine’s website) in their November issue about Peter Van Stolk, who founded Jones Soda Co. in 1996. Jones Soda made, “waves with irreverent branding and unique, grass roots marketing. He has now moved on to start Sustainable Produce Urban Delivery, or SPUD, an online organic grocer with locations across Canada, and in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle.” Stolk sees that there is a trend with consumers wanting more locally grown, natural and organic products. He is developing an online CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) a website to purchases local organic and natural produce.
What does this have to do with Blue Mountain Station? As we look forward to 2012, the vision of Blue Mountain Station is expanding. Local interest is growing. People are wanting to see something happen on the site. More and more individuals and businesses are contacting the Port of Columbia expressing interest in locating their businesses at BMS. Most of these are regional businesses that are just getting started. At this point most of them don’t have the capital to build their own building. However, they are from the area and are part of a growing entrepreneurial and local agriculture movement. Their products could be distributed to the Seattle area by people like SPUD.
I have talked with an investor that is interested in investing in BMS. The next step is to find some established natural and organic businesses to lease a building or part of a building. Then we can begin the process of putting up our first building, possibly in 2012. I have a friend who has updated an old, 3500 sq. ft. railroad building in Hermiston (pictured here). This might be a design option in keeping with the BMS railroad theme.
Jennie and the Port of Columbia have been looking into purchasing a flour mill to locate at the site. The mill would offer shared usage to local farmers and businesses for milling of local grains. This would open a range of opportunities for products made from local grains. Farmers and businesses could mill and packaged all natural flours, stone ground grits and corn meal along with a wide range of mixes.
We are also exploring ways to get crops growing on the property. The land is not certified as organic at this point but we can begin moving in that direction. To that end, we are getting water for irrigating produce on-site and watering landscaping.
If you are interested in discussing the Blue Mountain Station business opportunity for processors and co-packers contact me at 509-551-1913 or firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a meeting during Natural Products Expo West. I would enjoy discussing Blue Mountain Station with you. I am waiting to hear from you!