PORTLAND--There are only two food-processing plants in the United States that have the platinum designation by the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design and only six others worldwide.

Tofurky began in 1980 in Forest Grove, and now the new Tofurky plant in Hood River will triple production capacity when it's up and running by January.

Nothing has been overlooked to make the new facility as green as possible, with 400 rooftop solar panels now powering the offices and an electric charging station.

Cabinets and desks in the facility are made from recycled wood and counter tops are made from 700 lbs of crushed Full Sail beer bottles.

The $12 million expansion cost the company about 15 percent more to get the platinum LEED rating, but founder and president Seth Tibbott said they will save in the long run and recoup that cost in a few years and doing all this fits in with what they do.

When we had the decision to build our Tofurky plant, we had a lot of options. This just seemed like the place where we wanted to live. It's so beautiful in Hood River. It fits in with our natural food roots, Tibbott said.

Tofurky has been adding nearly 20 employees a year for the past two years. Another 30 will be needed to operate the new facility over time.

This weekend is Tofurky fest. Those who would like to take a tour of the facility can sign up at their website.


KGW business reporter Joe Smith contributed to this report.

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