You can buy something regularly, eat it every week, tell your friends about it and post it to Instagram all without ever asking yourself “Where is this stuff made?” Sometimes, when you finally do ask that question, the answer will surprise you because it’s right from your own backyard.
Here are some things that you’ve maybe already bought, eaten or given as a gift are actually made in Tacoma and Pierce County.
Almond Roca (Tacoma)
Almond Roca, and a whole line of Roca flavors, Mountain Bars (originally called Mt. Tacoma Bars) and other delights are produced by Brown & Haley, which was incorporated in 1914 right here in Tacoma, Washington. Almond Roca itself was created 1923 and named by a local librarian. Little known fact: U.S. troops ate Almond Roca during WWII, the Korean Conflict and Vietnam, and now it’s enjoyed by civilians and military alike in 63 countries across the globe.
Almond Roca Gift Shop
3500-C 20th St. E.
Fife, WA 98424
Almond Roca Factory Store
110 East 26th St.
Tacoma, WA 98421
Johnny’s Seasoning (Tacoma)
Johnny’s Fine Foods started in the 1950s and is a purveyor of concentrates, dressings, seasoning salts and spice blends, based here in Tacoma. The founder, Johnny Meaker, was the son of a butcher from England, and realized early on that spices are the spice of life. They have the power to turn ordinary meat into something amazing. He 1956 released the Original Seasoned Salt.
Souvenirs - Smith – Western Co.
There’s something close to ironic that the little ceramic display plate you bought to commemorate your trip to Duluth, Minnesota was made by a company in Tacoma. Since back in 1947, Smith-Western Company has created custom souvenirs for the tourism and travel industry. Originally a post-card company that sold photos of Washington and Oregon, they now supply souvenirs to tourism organizations throughout the United States, including National Park vendors, theme parks and gift shops. Fun Fact: Smith-Western used to do business where the current-day convention center is!
2223 South 80th Street
Tacoma, WA 98409
Dillano’s Coffee Roasters
Dillano’s is one of the biggest coffee brands you’ve never heard of, and they’re based right here in Sumner, Washington. They roast for coffeehouses and other companies all over the country, and then let those coffeehouses and companies label it under their own names. So there’s a good chance that you’ve had Dillano’s coffee, but you just didn’t know that’s what you were drinking.
Dillano’s Coffee Roasters
1607 45th St. E.
Sumner, WA 98390
The Ram Restaurant and Brewhouse
In another case of “local boy makes good,” The Ram Restaurant and Brewhouse has been serving up quality beer and eats since they were founded in Lakewood, Washington in 1971. Back then it was just one location which was more of a tavern than the operation you find today in Washington, Oregon, Indiana, Illinois and Idaho. The brewing side of the house started in 1995 and continues to be based in Lakewood.
The Ram Restaurant and Brewhouse - Lakewood
10019 59th Ave.
Lakewood, WA 98496
The Ram Restaurant and Brewhouse – Tacoma
3001 Ruston Way
Tacoma, WA 98402
With two additional locations in Puyallup.
Bonus: Mars Chocolates
If you’ve chewed Big Red or Wrigley’s gum, or chowed down on a 3 Musketeers or Snickers bar, or fed your pet Pedigree or Whiskas pet food, you’ve supported a company that originated in the South Puget Sound. No, they’re not still based here, but Mars, Incorporated was founded in Tacoma, Washington in 1911, when the founder, Franklin Clarence Mars was living in the area. Since then, they’ve grown and expanded into confections, snacks, gum, pet food, pasta and rice.