An oversized photo of pancakes hanging on the wall. The smell of lemon pound cake traveling through the hallways. Baking scientists in white lab coats testing new recipes. When we found out the maker of the first “just-add-water” pancake mix was based in our backyard, we flipped out. Continental Mills, a third-generation family-owned maker of breakfast, baking, and snack brands, calls Tukwila home. The company’s flagship brand, Krusteaz, was first developed by the Home Economics Department at the University of Washington in the 1940s. Today, the company is still relatively small, and it embraces that as an advantage, celebrating its staff and successes along the way. We wish these photos were scratch and sniff.
- In the 1970s, the company set out to serve pancake samples with a fully equipped pancake van called the Krusteaz Kurtesy Kitchen.
- The company has four manufacturing locations: Kent; Hopkinsville, Kentucky; Manhattan, Kansas; and Effingham, Illinois.
- It all started with an easy-to-make pie crust, and now the company makes over 650 different products, including baking and breakfast mixes and snacks.
- The company partners with many food-focused nonprofits, including Food Lifeline, FareStart, and Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission, to contribute financially and provide pancake breakfasts.
- Interior Architect: Burgess Architecture and Design
- Contractor: Segale Properties, exterior building and shell; GLY Construction, interior
- Square footage: 84,250
- Employees: 214 (in Tukwila location)
- Built: March 2011
- Website: continentalmills.com