Berryhill Foods Inc. just relocated its big berry processing operation to Chilliwack and a grand opening celebration was held to mark the occasion this week.
Millions of berries will now be transported, processed, frozen, and distributed from a brand-new facility on Brannick Place, in the heart of Chilliwack’s Agricultural Food Processing zone.
Berryhill reps hosted a grand opening at the site on Wednesday with a barbecue, local beer, speeches, a live band, and community good wishes.
“We process blueberries and raspberries from all over the Fraser Valley,” said Steve Phillips, field manager and special projects for Berryhill Foods.
He said they were thrilled to find out Chilliwack officials had created a special zone for ag-based food processing.
“It’s amazing,” Phillips said about the special zone. “What a great idea.”
Their neighbour will be the new Molson Coors Canada brewery, under construction this year.
Berryhill officials ended up paying less for their parcel of land in the ag-food processing zone, than they would have on industrial land.
With the help of City of Chilliwack and CEPCO officials, Chilliwack became the logical place for the Berryhill expansion in part because a lot of the berry growers are located here, he said.
“Chilliwack reps were very accommodating,” he added.
They had been seeking a suitable location in Abbotsford, but were forced to find other avenues.
Phillips said Berryhill processes about “20 million pounds” of berries a year.
“Founded in 1994 in the heart of the Fraser Valley in British Columbia, Canada, Berryhill Foods Inc. specializes in the processing, freezing, marketing, and distribution of cultivated blueberries and red raspberries.
“We are proud to have one of the most advanced Cultivated Blueberry and Red Raspberry processing operations in North America, providing our valued customers with a ready-to-use premium product of consistent high quality,” reads the Berryhill info on their company website.
The berries are shipped to the United States, Europe, Asia and throughout Canada, and the company prides itself on providing a product of “quality, integrity, and excellence.”