CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — From a family-owned restaurant to a 100% employee-owned company, Idaho-based salad dressing giant Litehouse Foods has continued on a trajectory of steady growth. With this growth, Litehouse is seeing to increase their local workforce in Southern Utah.
According to a media release from Litehouse Foods, the company is seeking motivated and reliable workers to join the Litehouse family. Interested applicants are invited to attend Litehouse’s ongoing job fairs at the Hurricane plant, located at 239 N. Old Hwy. 91. Job fairs are held every Wednesday and Thursday from 1-4 p.m. For more information, visit the Litehouse Foods website.
The Litehouse story
In 1949, Ed Hawkins Sr. was a chef in Spokane, Washington, at a restaurant where his boss complained about the poor quality of the salad bar and the dressings they served. Hawkins responded to the challenge in an unorthodox manner: He prayed about it. The answer to his prayer was a blend of mayonnaise, spices, crumbled blue cheese and buttermilk. To his knowledge, his original recipe was the first creamy blue cheese dressing.
Hawkins and his wife, Lorena, purchased Hurschell’s Lighthouse restaurant on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille in Hope, Idaho, in 1958. As they wanted people to know the owners had changed, they changed the spelling to “Litehouse.” People enjoyed the dressing served at the restaurant so much they would bring in empty jars to fill with dressing to take home.
The first jars of Litehouse salad dressing were sold to a local grocery store in Sandpoint, Idaho, in 1963. At that time, the only flavors being made were Litehouse Bleu Cheese and Litehouse Thousand Island. Throughout the 1970s, Litehouse expanded distribution throughout the Northwest.
After Hawkins passed away in 1984, his two sons, Doug and Edward Jr., developed a business plan expanding on what Litehouse did best: making great products and employing dedicated people.
Litehouse merged with Chadalee Farms Inc. of Lowell, Michigan, in 1997, expanding their portfolio to include food service and horseradish products. Over the coming years, Litehouse continued to expand its offerings of innovative products to include freeze-dried herbs, meat marinades, dressing packs for salad bars, dips for vegetable trays, caramel dip and other complementary food products.
In 2001, Litehouse began making their own handcrafted blue cheese as the main ingredient for the famous blue cheese dressing. Soon afterward, Litehouse blue cheese crumbles and wheels began selling in produce and deli departments across the country.
As Litehouse continued to grow, they searched for other locations to manufacture their popular products. Litehouse opened the doors for its manufacturing facility in Hurricane in 2011.
The founders of Litehouse believed that all of the people who make Litehouse great deserve to benefit in its success. In 2006, they transferred 30% of the company’s ownership to its employees and 100% by 2014. Together, Litehouse employees share the hard work and rewards of building their company. The company empowers all members of its organization to spark the innovations and great new ideas that will propel them into the future.
Today, Litehouse’s award-winning products are available in North America through general retail, e-commerce, food service, deli, club stores and value-added goods such as meal and salad kits. The company operates under the brands Litehouse, Brite Harbor, Sky Valley, Organicville, Green Garden and Veggiecraft.
Litehouse exists to serve – to improve life one community, one table and one bite at a time. They strive to deliver a memorable eating experience, positively impact the communities around them and provide employee owners with opportunities to succeed.
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- Litehouse Foods | Address: 239 N. Old Hwy 91, Hurricane | Telephone: 435-705-7300 or 800-669-3169 | Website.
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