Bryant Christie Inc., a Seattle company focused on helping agricultural, food and beverage companies open and expand foreign markets, is celebrating its 25th anniversary.
Bill Bryant’s journey started right after college, when he went to work for Washington state Gov. John Spellman on trade policy issues. “I met folks in the tree fruit industry. After Gov. Spellman lost his re-election bid, the Northwest apple, pear and cherry industry asked me to help them open new markets around the world,” says Bryant, founder. “By 1992, other commodity groups and agricultural companies were calling asking for advice on how to solve foreign trade problems. I realized there was a demand for the services I provided, so I moved to Seattle and started W.L. Bryant Co. in my basement.”
Within a year, James Christie joined the company as managing director and partner. Prior to joining, Christie was president of the California Cherry Export Association. In 1996, the company changed its name to Bryant Christie Inc. “In those first years, James and I had Monday 7 a.m. ‘staff’ meetings — the staff was me, James and one other person — but we enjoyed it because we knew we weren’t just trying to get business to keep the doors open, we were committed to building a company that could outlast us,” says Bryant.
The photo was taken in 1995; Bryant is on the left and Christie is on the right. “Bill was probably lecturing me on the mega possibilities of the internet while I was trying to bring it down to a practical level. Funny thing is, we largely accomplished our goal of developing internet, subscription-based databases that help our clients comply with foreign regulations,” says Christie.
As part of its 25th anniversary, the company has launched BCGlobal, a single portal into global regulations affecting food, beverage and agricultural products. “Our 25th is a time to explore new ways to meet our clients’ changing needs. Companies and governments have come to us with ideas and requests for new databases. There are lots of opportunities ahead,” says Bryant.