SANDPOINT — Most everyone knows the story behind Litehouse dressing. Ed Hawkins Sr. had created his own recipe of creamy blue cheese dressing, featured in their Litehouse Restaurant out in Hope in the 1950s.
Patrons loved it so much they would bring empty jars to be filled with the delicious treat. In 1963, the Hawkins scrounged up enough money to buy 12 cases of jars and started bottling their blue cheese and thousand island dressing, mainly selling it at Rogers Thrift Market in Sandpoint.
In the 1970s, Doug and Ed Jr. and their trusty Datsun pickup truck would drive around the Northwest selling their products. They saw a need for expansion and moved the operation to Sandpoint.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Currently, Litehouse employs 1,200 people across their manufacturing sites in Idaho, Michigan, and Utah, with their corporate offices in Ponderay.
They support many organizations in the community including the Festival at Sandpoint, Kinderhaven, Panhandle Alliance for Education and most recently the Litehouse YMCA.
Chamber officials thanked Litehouse for all of its support, from its generous sponsorship of the Summer Sampler and Scenic Half Marathon. They also recently covered the shipping costs of the chamber’s T-shirt campaign to send new shirts from previous events to the survivors of the Paradise, Calif., fires by using their own truck to transport the goods to California, saving $2,500. They donated 3,000 of their tote bags to this effort as well.
“Thank you, Litehouse, for always stepping up to support our community,” Chamber President and CEO Kate McAlister said. “Congratulations to the January Business of the Month, Litehouse Inc.”