Crystal Creek Logistics eyes North Valleys expansion
RENO, Nev. — In early 2018, Washington-based Crystal Creek Logistics announced plans to expand to Northern Nevada, opening up a 35,000-square-foot facility in Reno’s North Valleys to extend its reach across the West Coast.
Within six months, the fulfillment company, specializing in shipping frozen and refrigerated foods for ecommerce retailers, filled the warehouse with 40 local employees en route to opening for business that summer.
“For our type of business, Reno’s a great location for the entire West Coast,” company president Cathy Hayward-Hughes told the NNBW. “About 95% of our packages go via ground, and that’s challenging for frozen, so being in the right location is critical. With some carriers, we’re one day to L.A., so that’s important.
“It’s really perfect as far as being able to get ground transportation into the most zip codes possible on the West Coast.”
The company’s north Reno location is so perfect that nearly two years later, Crystal Creek has outgrown its current space and plans to widen its footprint in the Reno area, Hayward-Hughes said.
“We’re in the process of trying to locate a new facility so that we can expand,” she said. “It’s challenging in Reno because it’s growing so fast, and there’s a lot of demand on resources.”
Crystal Creek plans to find an existing facility ranging between 65,000 and 100,000 square feet, with the goal of opening by January 2022, she said.
When that happens, the company would create another 55 jobs, bringing its total Reno workforce to about 100 employees.
Based on the company’s first experience, finding local talent is not a big worry, Hayward-Hughes said.
“It seems like a really good place to find employees,” she said, noting the company hopes to find a facility in the same North Valleys area, where most of its current staff resides. “We would love to be able to retain all of our team, so we don’t want to have it turned into something that’s challenging for our employees.”
According to a May 2018 article via Opportunity Nevada, Crystal Creek Logistics launched in 2008 in Ferndale, Washington, amid the Great Recession, but the timing wasn’t a serious drawback, as many companies that had been shipping for themselves found it was efficient to reduce operations costs and move to fulfillment regardless of the state of the economy.
“We choose Reno because it is an excellent location from which to bring our services closer to our customers,” Mike Bradburn, company co-founder and vice president, said in the article. “We enjoy the community, the quality of employees in the area and the proximity to this customer base.”
More than a decade later — and with additional warehouses in Hastings, Nebraska; Richmond, Virginia; and Memphis, Tennessee, under its belt — the company is dealing with another recession of sorts due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Still, Hayward-Hughes told the NNBW last week that business continues to grow.
“All of our clients have seen an uptick in their sales,” she said.
Over the past three years, the company’s revenue has grown an average 37% year-over-year, she added.
UNION SUPPLY GROUP HEADED TO RENO
News of Crystal Creek Logistics’ planned expansion was referenced Nov. 6 in the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada’s weekly “CEO & Business Development Executive Updates” newsletter, which included Crystal Creek as one of two company relocations in October.
The other company relocation mentioned is for Union Supply Group, a California-based distribution company that has plans to expand to Reno and create 60 jobs, according to EDAWN.
Since its founding in 1991, Union Supply Group provides food, apparel, footwear, electronics and personal-care products to state, federal and county correctional institutions nationwide.
Northern Nevada’s smaller markets expect economic stability in 2021; issues could slow future growth
While much of the economic attention in Nevada has centered on Las Vegas and Reno, the Silver State’s smaller markets and rural communities are in varying degrees of rebounding from the COVID recession.