Breaking News
More () »

Made in Washington: The popular pancake mix that comes from the Pacific Northwest

Krusteaz celebrates 90 years. #newdaynw

KENT, Wash. — A blue cardboard box of Krusteaz Buttermilk Pancake mix means 'pancakes for breakfast' for millions of people.

And they fly off the factory floor right here in the Pacific Northwest, in Kent. And company headquarters is located right next door in Tukwila.

"Krusteaz Company was started in 1932, and so today we are 90 Years old," said company president and CEO Andy Heily, who’s the third generation of his family to run this company. "Feels pretty good for being 90.”

This center of the pancake universe in South Seattle used to be Continental Mills. They recently changed their name to Krusteaz to celebrate their 90th anniversary and honor their past, when founder Rose Charters invented a 'just add water' pie crust in 1932, and called it Krusteaz. Then in the 1940s, the company made that iconic pancake mix with a little help from the Huskies.

“We got help from the University of Washington home ec lab to develop that product which is today our stellar top selling item,” Heily said.

Today 800+ people work for the company- but it feels more like a family than a corporation. The kind of place where the president walks the lobby with his dog, named Flap Jackie, of course. 

“She loves pancakes,” Heily explained.

This CEO knows his way around a griddle — he made us a stack in the Krusteaz test kitchen when we visited. His tips: Be sure to use cold water, leave some lumps in the batter, and butter the pancakes while they’re on the grill to ensure maximum melt.

RELATED: Kent café specializes in coffee, crepes, and sweet affirmations

RELATED: Where have these Carrot Cake pancakes been all my life?!

Krusteaz buttermilk pancake mix is so popular that one box is sold every other second.

And anyone who's whipped these up for people they care for knows that a stack of pancakes is more than just something to eat.

“Really a lot of the behaviors around grilling a pancake, it's really sort of an expression of love,” Heily said.

So you can think of each of these blue bags as a little bit of love, made here in Washington — heading out to join people for breakfast all over the world.

“We're not selling pancakes, we're selling connection," Heily said. "We're selling great moments of connection in a box. Because that's really what it's all about.”

KING 5's Evening celebrates the Northwest. Contact us: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Email.

Before You Leave, Check This Out