Copper River Seafoods’ new building keeps product in Alaska

  • From left to right, Joe O’Halloran, Copper River Seafoods Vice President of Operations, CEO and Founder Scott Blake and Operations and Sales Manager Billy Green are seen at the company’s new cold storage facility in Anchorage that will create jobs and keep product stored in Alaska that was previously shipped to Seattle. (Photo/Courtesy/Jim Kostka)

Copper River Seafoods is adding new seafood industry infrastructure to Anchorage and bringing a key part of its supply chain back to Alaska.

The Anchorage-based seafood processor and retailer on July 9 announced the opening of its new south Anchorage cold storage facility, which the company has dubbed “Copper River Seafoods Cold.”

The formerly vacant property at 6700 Arctic Spur Rd. has capacity for approximately 2 million pounds of seafood and is the only facility of its kind in the city, according to Copper River Marketing Director Kim Kostka.

He said the company has had to warehouse its products that are processed in Anchorage in Seattle for at least 15 years and had been in discussions with other, slower-moving developers in the city for some time before deciding to open their own facility. The chilled warehouse brings all of Copper River’s primary business operations back to Alaska.

“Bringing this function of our business to Alaska creates efficiencies and synergies to our two existing value-added plants in Anchorage as well as meeting a strategic goal that is in line with our mission values of providing economic opportunities to the residents and communities we serve,” Copper River CEO Scott Blake said in a formal statement.

Company leaders have said Copper River could add up to 40 jobs when a portion of the building is eventually converted into a small cutting facility at a time when other sectors of Anchorage’s economy are shedding jobs as a result of the pandemic.

“We’re trying to keep everything right here, the jobs included,” Kostka said.

Storing its seafood in Seattle often meant seafood caught and processed in Alaska was sent south only to be brought back to Anchorage for packaging and eventual distribution nationwide.

Founded in Cordova in 1996, Copper River Seafoods operates in most of Alaska’s major fisheries.

Copper River Seafoods originally planned to hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the facility July 14 with Alaska business and political leaders, but the event was canceled as a precaution against coronavirus.

07/15/2020 - 9:53am