Not so fast: Mushroom farm near Lacey is expanding, but not moving, president says

UPDATE: Ostrom’s announced June 4, 2019, that it is closing the Lacey-area farm after all.

Ostrom’s Mushroom President David Knudsen acknowledged Monday he may have left the wrong impression when he testified before a House committee in February. Ostrom’s is expanding, he said, but it is not moving its Lacey area location.

“The future of our business is at a new location, not that it is going away,” he clarified Monday. He described the Lacey operation as a “viable, going concern.”

That likely is welcome relief to the 275-300 employees who work at the 34-acre site off Steilacoom Road near Lacey. Ostrom’s has owned the property since the 1960s, Knudsen said, but expanding there is not an option now that neighborhoods have developed around it.

Expansion is an option in Yakima County, however.

In the next 12-15 months, Ostrom’s expects to open a new farm on a 43-acre site at the Port of Sunnyside. Knudsen said operations could employ 240.

He also said the business needs to replace the production it lost when it closed a 60-acre farm in Whatcom County about a year ago.

Knudsen testified before a House committee in February, seeking a tax break to help with the expansion, the Capital Press reported. The tax break wasn’t approved, according to Capital Press, but the business did secure a $1 million appropriation that will be used to stabilize the ground at the port.