Sale of Bellingham Cold Storage Ends 72 Years of Talbot-Only Ownership

The sale of epochal Bellingham Cold Storage (BCS), a giant on the local business scene under one family’s banner for 72 years, became the recent “Shot Heard ‘Round the Waterfront”—and beyond.

Far beyond. BCS is the largest portside cold-storage facility on the West Coast and conducts international commerce. Owners Stowe and Jane Talbot—children of the late Jim Talbot, whose father, Archibald, founded the company in 1946—recently sold majority ownership to Joshua Green Corp., a Seattle investment firm.

By phone from his office in Barkley Village, where he operates as Chairman of the Board of BCS (and also CEO of the family’s real-estate firm, Barkley Company), Stowe Talbot said, “We wanted a partner who aligned with our values and mission. Jane and I have thought about this for a long time. Last year, after a series of years with very good financial results, we started looking for the just-right opportunity.”

Joshua Green Corp., privately held since the 1890s, invests with strategic longevity in private companies, commercial real estate, and publicly traded equities. In a joint news release, Stowe Talbot cited the Green Corporation’s “impressive values, vision, and optimism.”

The sale included BCS’s Squalicum Harbor and Orchard Place facilities that employ about 150. Everybody, from President/ CEO Doug Thomas to the newest employee, remains in place. Stanley McCammon, Joshua Green’s President/CEO, said of the seamless transaction: “We recognize the important role (we) play in the life of the employees and in the community.”

Thomas echoed that premise: “This is good for our employees, our customers, and (local) economic growth.”

Regarding a possible fourth-generation of Talbot leadership, Stowe said that his three children and his sister’s child are too young for consideration now. “But, in 15-20 years, if the interest is there, they still could take part,” he said. “In planning for continued growth, it was logical to bring in investors with deeper pockets than ours. I plan to stay involved in the operation for the long term. Fortunately, our first choice for the transition was a good fit, and everything lined up.”

Business Pulse Magazine – Leading Edge | July-August 2018 | by Mike McKenzie

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Eric Richards