Small Business Spotlight: Commercial Creamery

Ever think of the Inland Northwest as home to an internationally-known developer of specialty food ingredients?

Commercial Creamery began in 1908 as a local creamery.  Now, 103 years later, its headquarters, research and development, and pilot plant are solidly in Spokane. It also has a 150,000 sq. ft. large-scale production facility in Jerome, Idaho.

Every town had a creamery in the early 1900s.  But during the1960s, family dairy farms started disappearing and factories and interstates blossomed.  While most creameries went out of business, Commercial Creamery Company stood the test of time by adapting to new revenue streams. What was its secret “ingredient” to survival?  Cheese powder.

While you won’t see Commercial Creamery Company on any product labels, you’ve probably tasted their ingredient in one of many name-brand foods at the grocery store– like the creamy sauces along the frozen dinner isle. The company provides dairy and cheese powders, snack seasonings, flavors, sauce and soup mixes, enzyme modified dairy products, and shelf-stable cheese Chunkettes ™ to more than 30 countries and all but two states. Not surprisingly, Commercial Creamery supplies more and more in Asia.

The company’s competitors are billion dollar companies – not a small feat for this family-owned and operated business with 100 employees. In 2010 it reported its best year ever in its 100-plus year history – a sign that consumers are perhaps dining at home more often during a challenging economy.

The down economy and the weak dollar are not a plus for most companies, but certainly exporters and long-standing companies like Commercial Creamery Company thrive – and not solely due to economics but because of their stable leadership, adaptability and strong market share they’ve built in the food industry from providing exceptional quality and service.  Our region is proud to be home of this fourth generation business, representing the best of our area to its clients and vendors.


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