Nalley’s saying ‘Goodbye’ to Tacoma after 92 years

Dec 3, 2010

Tacoma is losing one of its landmark businesses.  Nalley Foods will close its local plant some time next year. 

Nalley’s has been well known for its brand of potato chips, pickles, and mayonnaise.  The chips were ubiquitous across the Northwest for decades, but that line was sold-off 15 years ago. 

And that symbolizes what’s happened to the company.  It was founded by Croatian immigrant Marcus Nalley in Tacoma back in 1918.  Nalley built up the company, and it became such a fixture that the industrial area around its plant in south Tacoma is still known as Nalley Valley. It’s right where I-5 and highway 16 merge. 

Marcus Nalley died in the 1960’s.  The company has been sold and re-sold several times since then to national conglomerates, but it always retained a Tacoma presence.  As recently as ten years ago it had 1,000 workers and was one of the top employers in Tacoma. 

Now, the remaining 160 employees, who process chili and beans, are seeing their jobs move to Iowa.  They can transfer there, if they want.  The parent company, Pinnacle Foods of New Jersey still one last nearby plant, in Algona, where it makes Tim’s Cascade Chips.