If you think weather predictions of frost and snow are a good thing, Henningsen Cold Storage in Twin Falls, Idaho, may have a job for you.
Now a fifth-generation cold storage company, Henningsen began nearly 100 years ago when Waldemar Henningsen, Sr. moved to Portland, Oregon, as a partner in a local ice business. Through this partnership he became an expert in the science of keeping perishable products cold during transit by rail and truck. Henningsen soon began building warehouses, and with the advent of frozen food production in the 1940s, his facilities began sprouting up throughout the Pacific Northwest.
“We build, operate and provide third-party, temperature-controlled warehousing and logistics services,” explained Tony Lucarelli, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Henningsen. “With 12 cold storage warehousing facilities strategically located throughout the United States, we primarily serve frozen and refrigerated food and beverage manufacturers who have production facilities nearby.”
In 1978, Henningsen made its way to Twin Falls to support the Lamb Weston manufacturing plant that’s earned its reputation as one of the world’s leading suppliers of frozen potato products.
“We located our facility here to provide enough space for Lamb Weston to produce products without having to transport them to different areas for storage before selling them to their customers,” said Tony. “Our facility is the first stop those fries make after they’re produced.”
Lamb Weston’s plants produce more than 100 different french fry products for customers with an output of more than 2 million pounds per day at their Idaho facilities alone.
“All of our finished products pass through the Henningsen facility, which serves as an important part of our production process,” said Tammy Barry, communications manager for Lamb Weston.
A Big Network, A Big Community
Across the country, Henningsen Cold Storage hosts a national warehouse network totaling more than 64 million cubic feet, and while Lamb Weston is a primary customer for Henningsen in the Magic Valley, the operation services other manufacturers in the region as well.
“The Magic Valley region is a large production area for potatoes and dairy, but it’s also a major Western distribution point for many of those producers,” said Tony. “Storing those goods here makes sense because we’re able to access most of the West Coast within 24 hours.”
Henningsen’s access to market is one of many factors that contributed to its growth of nearly 50% between 2014-2018. But despite its acclaimed performance in the national cold storage industry, Henningsen remains focused on its associates and adding value to the communities it resides in.
“We have over 100 associates at the Twin Falls facility,” said Tony. “It’s the largest business unit in our company in terms of storage capacity and staffing. With that in mind, we’ve always seen ourselves as an important part of the community. We play a large role in the fabric of the Magic Valley ag industry and we take that seriously. Being a good neighbor is important to us.”
Henningsen’s long-term, relationship-building approach to business has paid off. They’re now one of the largest cold storage facilities in North America and many of their customers have been on board for decades. On top of that, their employee turnover is nearly a third of the industry average.
“We promote from within whenever possible. The average tenure of a Henningsen associate is around 15 years and I believe our longest tenured associate has been here for over 36 (years),” said Tony. “I think it’s safe to say people love it here.”
With state-of-the-art facilities, exceptional customer service and a strong dedication to its community, we’ve likely only seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Henningsen Cold Storage success story. As a region best known for its innovative and diverse agricultural production, Twin Falls is proud to be a part of that story.
To learn more about Henningsen, visit http://www.henningsen.com