The Story of The Hiawatha Corporation: Just Think What the Next 75 Years Will Bring
A Pioneer of the industry, The Hiawatha Corporation treks on and blazes a trail into the next decade. Hiawatha was formed in 1973 after Purdy Evergreen, founded by Richard Pasalich, merged with Northwest Evergreen owned by his partner Larry Stevens.
Northwest Evergreen had been doing business since 1938 in the Shelton, Washington area and Purdy was Pasalich’s brainchild after he worked for Kirk’s Christmas Trees for several years. Today the company has continued to flourish, bolstering the economy of Mason County for over seventy-five years.
In the beginning, Northwest Evergreen sold only fresh evergreen brush such as salal and huckleberry. After the partnership merged, operations diversified in the mid-seventies and they began producing and shipping Decorative Christmas greens and designer products. Dried products including moss and cones followed. In 1982 Hiawatha employed about 120 workers during Christmas production season with twenty five year around employees. Business has significantly grown to where today Hiawatha hires around seven to eight hundred piece workers to produce and ship enough greenery to supply all their customers.
Hiawatha’s customer base consists of Wholesale Florists, Grocery Chains, Mass Market Retailers and the Craft Industry. The company has grown from its Shelton location to other business locations in British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon. Today, Hiawatha is a competitive international distributor and is one of the largest suppliers of evergreen products in the world.