ANACORTES, Wash. -- A local business is asking the Washington Court of Appeals to consider if Washington State Ferries failed to follow the rules when it awarded a food contract to an East Coast multinational called Centerplate.
On Monday the food provider Olympic Cascades, which has provided concessions for ten years to the ferry system and employs more than 100 Washingtonians, made the announcement through its legal team at Seattle's Davis Wright Tremaine.
The move impacts a handful of locally owned businesses that provide food for ferry customers, including Cheesecake Café at the Anacortes ferry terminal.
"We need to keep Washington contracts in Washington. My mom has run this place for 12 years. We are part of this community. We need to keep our money at home," said Nicole Aipopo, as she collected signatures to present to Governor Jay Inslee.
Centerplate, based in Connecticut, has a checkered history of wage theft and is currently under investigation by Ohio ethics commissioners and the FBI for collusion.
A spokesman for the ferry system tells KING 5:
"Eight different companies competed for the galley contract, and Centerplate had the best proposal. One of the existing vendors (Olympic Cascades) protested the selection process and a judge ruled against them last month. They are now appealing that decision. We're confident that our process is fair and that had we chosen an existing vendor rather that the most qualified we would not be doing our duty to the taxpayers of our state."