WARRENTON, Ore. (KOIN) — Just over five years ago, Warrenton lost its Pacific Seafood facility in a massive blaze, burning down one of the state’s largest seafood processors.
This month, the town welcomed back Pacific Seafood with a state-of-the-art, 78,000-square foot building that can employ up to 250 people when it’s running at full capacity. It’s the largest seafood processing facility in the state’s history.
CEO Frank Dulcich said advancements in freezing, packaging and bacterial safeguards that are built into the new site will expand the reach of the company’s product offerings.
“We’re going to be doing a lot of consumer packaging,” Dulcich said. “So the Oregon product — people in Oregon, as well as nationally and internationally, will be able to get this product from this facility.”
In addition to rockfish, Warrenton’s Pacific Seafood will process steelhead, whiting and dungeness crab, as well. Its bread and butter business has also been supplying grocery chains and restaurants along the west coast. But having the seafood processing facility back, five years after it burned down, is a homecoming for a company and community that never lost hope.
“They provide branded high quality Oregon products and we’ve got to make sure we take care of these processors — all of their employees and the independent boats that bring the fish in,” said Sen. Betsy Johnson. “This is a huge economic driver with lots of ripples.”
Those ripples aren’t limited to the coast. Pacific Seafood, a family owned and operated company headquartered in Clackamas, employs 3,000 people in 41 facilities across 11 states. But those facilities depend on Warrenton’s facility, which helps bring Oregon’s seafood product across the country.