Starbucks manufacturing operation to create 140 jobs in Augusta

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The Augusta Economic Development Authority announced today that Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ: SBUX), the world’s premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee, is planning to invest $172 million in its first Georgia manufacturing operation in Augusta. Starbucks expects to create more than 140 direct jobs, as well as hundreds of indirect jobs associated with construction, transportation, and supply chain activities.

The new Augusta plant, Starbucks fifth manufacturing facility in the United States, will be the company’s first -owned and operated facility in the world to produce soluble products, such as its VIA® Ready Brew and ingredients for Frappuccino® and many of Starbucks ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages. Once fully operational, this manufacturing plant will prepare and package ingredients and finished products for most of the company’s soluble-based beverages for all of North America and parts of Europe. The new, state-of-the-art facility is expected to offer employment opportunities in a range of highly-skilled positions.

“Starbucks has long believed that there is a strong relationship between our success and the strength and vitality of the communities in which we do business,” said Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman, president and CEO. “With an abundance of skilled workers, a great quality of life, convenient access to transportation that is critical to our business and strong support from local and state leaders, Augusta is an ideal location for our newest manufacturing facility in the U.S. We’re proud to be expanding our connection with the Augusta community and to be creating American manufacturing jobs during such challenging economic times.”

Henry Ingram, Chairman of the Augusta Economic Development Authority, said “The Augusta Economic Development Authority is proud to bring Starbucks Coffee Company to Augusta. With today’s announcement, Starbucks joins an outstanding corporate community in Augusta and Richmond County as a major manufacturer of quality products. The jobs announced today and the jobs to be created in the months and years to come by Starbucks will have a major impact on our community. Starbucks and Augusta both represent quality, professionalism, responsibility and integrity. We are proud that Starbucks chose Augusta.”

The Starbucks soluble products manufacturing operation will locate on 100 acres in the Augusta Corporate Park in Richmond County. Designed to be a 110,000 to 160,000 sq. ft., LEED® certified building, the plant will be capable of producing up to 4,000 metric tons annually. The company will also leverage Georgia’s high-performing logistics infrastructure, and is expected to make significant use of the Georgia Ports Authority’s Savannah operations. The Augusta facility is expected to open in January 2014, with construction to begin this spring. Starbucks will be the first tenant in the Augusta Corporate Park.

Governor Nathan Deal said, “Starbucks is a name recognized the world over, so it gives us an incredible sense of accomplishment knowing that Augusta, Georgia is now one of the places this great company calls home,” Deal said. “Georgia is indeed glad to welcome such a successful brand to our community of food processing manufacturers,
and we look forward to a working partnership that creates opportunities for Starbucks future growth in Georgia.”

Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver said, “Starbucks is one of the top three recognizable brand names in the world. They are a quality company that works in conjunction with their local communities in many areas of support, including the creation of high skilled jobs for a highly technical process. It is a great day in Augusta with the announcement that the new Starbucks manufacturing facility will be located at the Augusta Corporate Park.”

Walter Sprouse, Executive Director of the Augusta Economic Development Authority said, “We have been excited for months and months about the possibility of Starbucks locating in Augusta, and today is the Announcement Day. We don’t have to keep it quiet anymore. There were many people involved in the recruitment of Starbucks to Augusta, and we will recognize all those people and their organizations in the weeks to come. As for now, Starbucks is part of Augusta, and we are very excited.”

The recruitment of Starbucks to Augusta was led by the Augusta Economic Development Authority and the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD). GDEcD Global Commerce division director Tom Croteau, AEDA’s Sprouse, and Project Manager Robbie Bennett managed this business opportunity on behalf of the county and the state.