Reser’s construction is back on track after collapse stopped work

Reser’s Fine Foods is proceeding with construction of a food processing facility in Pasco after a framed section of the building collapsed during a windstorm.

No workers were injured in the Nov. 15 incident. Reser’s, serving as its own contractor, briefly halted work. By early December, crews were operating at both ends of the massive structure.

“Construction is currently continuing on our new Pasco facility. Our plan is to meet a completion date of summer 2022,” the company said in response to an inquiry about the project’s status to its public relations firm.

Reser’s, based in the Portland suburbs, is building a 277,681-square-foot, two-story complex with a production plant, offices and other structures at 5526 Capitol Ave. The site is between Capitol Avenue and Highway 395 in north Pasco.

The project is among the largest food- related construction projects of 2021, which also saw Darigold Inc. and Local Bounti Inc. commit to big investments in food production plants in Pasco.

Work began after the city authorized the $11 million plant in September. In December, the city approved a $2 million, 20,500-square-foot office building abutting the main structure.

When the new building opens, Reser’s will move operations from its existing Pasco plant at the nearby Pasco Processing Center, where it has about 250 employees. That facility will be repurposed, a company spokesperson said.

Local economic development officials expect Reser’s will add to its local workforce when the new building is open, though the company has not said how many new jobs to expect.

Reser’s acquired the 38-acre Pasco property in June, paying $3 million for a portion of the former Cox Family Land LLC site. The Port of Pasco bought 55 acres to the north for a new industrial park, known as the Pasco Industrial Center Highway 395, or PIC395, site. Reser’s is not a tenant of the future park.

Reser’s is a family-owned $1 billion-plus company formed in the 1950s by Earl and Mildred Reser to sell her potato salads. Today, it is led by their grandson, CEO Mark Reser, and is known chiefly for its potato salads, deli offerings and other staples carried in grocery stores.

It sells under a variety of brands, including Reser’s, Stonemill Kitchens, Don Pancho Authentic Mexican Foods and Baja Café. It is widely available in the Tri-Cities through Albertsons, Fiesta Foods, Safeway, Walmart and Fred Meyer groceries

Cida Inc. of Portland is the architect and structural engineer for the project. Reser’s is building it through its construction arm.

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