By James Day
A new meat processing company will be taking over the BrucePac facility on North First Street in Silverton.
Tillamook Country Smoker will be starting operations in the facility, perhaps as soon as this summer.
The move constitutes an expansion for Tillamook Country Smoker, president Geordie Mosbarger told Our Town. The privately held jerky and meat snacks processor is based in Bay City in Tillamook County while also operating a facility in Beaverton.
“We’re continuing to gain traction as a company,” Mosbarger said of the decision to expand. ”We have a good strategy and continue to grow.”
Tillamook Country Smoker will run two shifts per day once they get started in Silverton. Mosbarger estimated that 30 to 40 new employees will be hired. Because the BrucePac facility also was used for meat processing, Mosbarger said adapting the 115,000 square foot building will be relatively painless.
The ease of the move into Silverton led Mosbarger and his team to pick Silverton ahead of sites in the Portland area.
“It fit well,” he said. “We met with the city of Silverton and because the BrucePac use was so similar no additional permits will be required. To get the plant up and running quickly was attractive to us. Plus, we really like the town.”
Silverton City Manager Ron Chandler said that no major land use reviews were required for Tillamook to move into the space, but a building license will be required to operate, and building permits will be needed for any renovations.
“Our staff is looking forward to continuing to work with Tillamook on their expansion,” Chandler said.
Although the Silverton facility boasts the largest square footage of the Tillamook Country Smoker units (Bay City is at 90,000 and Beaverton at 65,000), Mosbarger said that the size did not necessarily translate into greater production at the site.
Tillamook Country Smoker ships to all 50 states but is not available in international markets. Mosbarger, citing proprietary concerns, declined to state the company’s overall employee base or characterize its output in terms of the volume or value of products produced or shipped.
BrucePac, which left the Silverton facility in October, reportedly consolidated its Willamette Valley operations at its headquarters facility in Woodburn, although BrucePac officials were not available to confirm this. BrucePac also operates a processing plant in Durant, Oklahoma.