Manufacturer Bellingham is creating a new campus of food incubators


Lisa Higby-Robinson pours the ingredients into a blender. She is a co-owner of LEAP, a company that produces nut oil products in Bellingham.

Contributed by The Bellingham Herald

Lisa Higby-Robinson and Nicholas Sotak wanted to see if it was possible to make popular outdoor sports snacks a little more interesting.

It was an idea that led to LEAP Is a nut oil business in Bellingham. It started in the spring of 2020, but it all reached a point where they recently moved to their own production facility in the Haskell Business Park. They also invite similar businesses to share a space called EAT Incubator. Object, st 1420 Meador Ave.will also have a retail store that should be ready in March, Higby-Robinson said in an email.

“We came up with LEAP, thinking that one day we could sell our spreads as a healthy, energetic snack to feed people on their adventures,” Higby-Robinson said.

During the pandemic and while global supply chains continue to tackle the challenges, local food processing seems to be gaining success. Together with this EAT incubator it is planned to build 30,000 square feet Food campus in Bellingham waterfront.

EAT Incubator’s plan is to have other growers whose products are plant-based, dairy-free, peanut-free and gluten-free, with the entire 2,000-square-foot facility to be gluten-free certified.

LEAP is in Bellingham Farm Market and is now makes its way into local shops and restaurants.

The first four spreads are different from peanut butter:

Nutsoseedy (a mixture of cashew and almond oil with chia and flaxseed, vanilla and cinnamon).

Cashew Cardamom Blueberry (cashew oil with cardamom and blueberries from Bow Hill).

Hazelnuts (hazelnut oil from coffee, cayenne pepper, cocoa powder and maple syrup).

Walnut Blackout (nut oil with cocoa powder and maple syrup).

JUMP 2.jpg
Mikola Sotak fills the jar with oil spread. He is a co-owner of LEAP, a company that produces nut oil products in Bellingham. JUMP Contributed by The Bellingham Herald

So far, customers are combining spreads for different types of bread, Higby-Robinson said. It is also used in smoothies as well as in baking recipes.

Higby-Robinson said all products are made using 100% organic, GMO-free, vegan ingredients and little or no sweeteners. They plan to certify organic products when the application process is available to them.

LEAP (acronym for Live, Eat, Appreciate, Play) wants to team up with other similar companies for this incubator. One business on the spot The Way of the Tempewhat does pace, a food commonly made from fermented soybeans that originates from Indonesia. Owners Alice Mayeran and Mike Hauder have decided to use non-soybeans for their pace, which they say helps take into account various dietary restrictions and adds some unique flavors. Although it is housed in an EAT incubator, Thoroughfare can be found at the Bellingham and Barkley farm markets and is used in the Old Town Café.

A retail store component is under development, but is expected to become a showroom for products manufactured at EAT Incubator. Starting in March, regular walking hours are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays, while other withdrawal times can be arranged.

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Dave Gallagher has been covering the Whatcom County business community since 1998. Among the topics he covers are retail, real estate, jobs and port reconstruction.

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