By Rachael Rees

The Bulletin

Oregon’s Wild Harvest, a Sandy-based herbal supplement manufacturer, is relocating its operations to Redmond.

“What this means for Redmond is another growing company to add to the manufacturing industry mix that helps provide sustainability and diversity within our economy,” Jon Stark, manager of Redmond Economic Development Inc., said Wednesday.

The company will occupy the 47,000-square-foot former home of Rocky Mountain Products at 1601 NE Hemlock Ave., which has been on the market about two years. Oregon’s Wild Harvest also owns two Culver farms, one that is certified organic, where it grows herbs such as echinacea and astragalus for the supplements. Combined, the farms total 282 acres.

Oregon’s Wild Harvest sells more than 200 medicinal herbal supplements and products that are distributed across the country in stores including Whole Foods Market and Fred Meyer, said co-founder Pam Buresh.

Buresh said the company bought the building, which will nearly triple its space, for $2.5 million in May.

“We’re just in the process of getting the building ready to move in,” she said. “The goal is to be operating by the beginning of October.”

This is one of four industrial buildings Compass Commercial Real Estate Services has sold in Redmond over the last four to five months, said Erich Schultz, partner and principal broker for Compass.

“The volume of sales is promising for Redmond. These sales bring new owner/developers with energy and enthusiasm (and perhaps money) to the market,” he wrote in an email. “With the industrial vacancy rate dropping to below 8 percent in Bend, rents are going up and the number of options available to tenants are greatly reduced. This should push some space users to Redmond.”

The industrial vacancy rate in Redmond is about 18 percent, while in the first quarter of 2009, it was 30 percent, according to REDI and Compass Points, Compass Commercial’s quarterly survey.

Manufacturing has been one of the leading growth industries in Redmond over the last three years, and Oregon’s Wild Harvest will help continue that trend, Stark said. The company will be the only supplements manufacturer in Redmond and one of two in Central Oregon. The other is Metabolic Maintenance, which also offers vitamins, in Sisters.

Buresh expects to employ between 25 and 35 people, hiring about a dozen from Central Oregon.

“We’re growing about 20 percent in sales each year, and that will, in turn, mean more hires,” she said. “The facility is just such a nice location, and we have room to grow. We could add on an additional 15,000 square feet when we need to.

“(Culver is) a great farming community, too. We love Culver. We’re excited. It’s a nice place. It’s great, and the people have been great.”

—Reporter: 541-617-7818,