This February, Davis Wright Tremaine has hosted two family business events featuring prominent Seattle-based family businesses.

On February 6th, Harbor Wholesale Foods was featured at a family business legacy series. Mike and Justin Erickson joined us to discuss how achieving shared family goals has been instrumental to the success of their family business.

Harbor Wholesale Foods (originally named West Coast Produce Company) was founded in 1923 by Carl Erickson, as a supplier of fresh food to logging camps in the Grays Harbor region. It is now one of the fifteen largest private companies in the state of Washington, catering to convenience stores, grocery stores, and restaurants.

The business has experienced rapid growth in the last fifteen years both organically and through acquisition. Growth was not a vision universally shared by all family members, however. Mike Erickson, the third generation chairman of the board of Harbor Wholesale, and his son Justin, the CEO of the business, led a buyout of family owners who were less comfortable with the expansion objectives, facilitating both management and ownership transition and accelerating the direction of growth.

On February 21st, Armandino Batali and his daughter Gina shared the story of Salumi Artisan Cured Meats, a Pioneer Square institution founded in 1999.

After 31 years at Boeing, Armo and his wife Marilyn accomplished their dream of creating Salumi in Seattle’s historic “garlic gulch.” Salumi is located a block from the first Italian food import store in Seattle, founded by Armo’s grandfather in 1903. In 2002, Gina and her husband Brian joined the business. In 2014, Gina and Brian bought out Armo and Marilyn and in 2017; Gina and Brian took on two new business partners to help grow the business.

Salumi is more than a place to buy great food, it is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the handmade food traditions of Italy and the Mediterranean.

We thoroughly enjoyed having these local families share their stories with other family business owners and leaders in the Pacific Northwest and look forward to sharing more about our programming throughout the year.