More than a job: Find fulfilling career opportunities at employee-owned Litehouse Foods

CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — Since expanding into Washington County nine years ago, Idaho-based salad dressing giant Litehouse Foods has continued on a trajectory of steady growth, and with this growth in mind, the company is once again seeking to increase their local workforce.

Litehouse Foods products, location and date not specified | Photo courtesy of Litehouse Foods, St. George News

Chris Blanford, vice president of marketing for Litehouse Foods, invited Southern Utahns who are seeking competitive pay and benefits – as well as employee ownership interest in a growing company – to attend their weekly job fairs every Tuesday and Thursday at their Hurricane manufacturing plant.

“We believe a positive attitude and a strong work ethic can take you a long way in our organization,” Blanford previously told St. George News. “We look for individuals who share our commitment to excellence, have a strong sense of accountability and want to work as part of a greater team to build something bigger than any one of us could build on our own.”

The story of what would eventually become Litehouse Foods began more than 70 years ago in a restaurant in Spokane, Washington, where Ed Hawkins Sr. was working as a chef. His boss challenged him to create a delicious creamy blue cheese dressing. He answered the challenge, with his first step being to pray about it. The answer to his prayer was a blend of mayonnaise, buttermilk, crumbled blue cheese and spices.

Hawkins ultimately opened his own restaurant in Idaho in 1958, and locals grew so fond of his signature salad dressing that they started bringing in empty containers to fill and enjoy at home. He sold the first jars of Litehouse to a local grocery store in 1963.

Blanford said the Hawkins family gradually shifted their focus from the restaurant business to the condiment industry and spent the next half-century building Litehouse into the nation’s leading refrigerated salad dressing brand. Along with dressings, the company also manufactures dips, sauces and cheese.

Ownership interest was transferred entirely to the company’s employees in 2014. As a 100% employee-owned company, Blanford said Litehouse empowers workers to think and act like the owners of the business.

“We look to our employees to bring forward new and innovative ways to improve processes or how we think about our day-to-day work, instilling an owner mentality in everyone in our organization,” he added. “The founders of Litehouse believed that all of the people who make Litehouse great deserve to benefit in its success. Employee owners of Litehouse share the hard work and rewards of building this company.”

Litehouse Foods products, location and date not specified | Photo courtesy of Litehouse Foods, St. George News

Blanford said their employee stock ownership plan provides more lucrative retirement benefits than many companies with a corporate ownership structure. Additionally, Litehouse offers competitive pay, generous benefits, professional development, technical training and career advancement opportunities, along with multiple shift options to help accommodate a variety of schedules.

Headquartered in Sandpoint, Idaho, with additional plants in Michigan and Virginia, Litehouse employs more than 1,100 people nationwide. The Hurricane plant has been in operation since the spring of 2011. Litehouse cut the ribbon on a significant expansion to the facility in September 2018, adding 175,000 square feet of production space and a commitment to create 165 new jobs.

Current openings in Hurricane include material handlers, line attendants, spice preparation, sanitation and entry-level manufacturing. New positions are added frequently, and a complete list of opportunities is available on the Litehouse website.

Motivated and reliable workers interested in joining the Litehouse family are invited to attend their ongoing job fairs at the Hurricane plant, located at 239 N. Old Hwy 91. Job fairs are held every Tuesday from 2-4 p.m. and Thursday from 1-4 p.m.

“It’s an exciting time to be at Litehouse,” Blanford said. “Our company continues to see phenomenal year-over-year growth, and we would love to meet hardworking individuals who want to build a long-lasting and fulfilling career at Litehouse.”

Written by ALEXA MORGAN for St. George News.

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