Industry News | August 21, 2002

Seattle Coffee Company Announces Plans to Open New Roasting and Packaging Facility

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Seattle Coffee Company, a subsidiary of AFC Enterprises, Inc. and parent company of Seattle's Best Coffee, and Torrefazione Italia, announced plans today to move to a new 220,000 square foot roasting, packaging and distribution plant in Fife, WA, in order to accommodate the company's rapid worldwide growth. The facility's anticipated opening date is fourth quarter 2003.

"With our current and anticipated growth, our facilities have been under mounting pressure, and will be approaching their maximum manufacturing capability," said Steve Schickler, president of Seattle Coffee Company. "We considered expanding on Vashon Island, as that is the location of our company's heritage, but regretfully our business is growing too large for Vashon to host all of our operations. The new location will allow us to become much more efficient and meet the needs of our many new grocery and foodservice accounts, as well as our new retail franchise partners. At the same time, the new facility and special equipment will allow us to continue meeting the taste and high quality standards of our specialty coffees."

The new facility will bring the company's roasting, packaging, distribution and green coffee bean storage all to one location. A new specialty coffee roaster from Italy is on order to be delivered next year as well as additional state-of-the-art packaging and coffee handling equipment. The plant will hold four roasters in all.

"We examined numerous supply chain alternatives to support the growth," said Chris December, Seattle's Coffee Company's chief financial officer. "This particular solution will create significant operational savings, provide logistics improvements and allow us to meet customers' needs quickly and efficiently over the coming years."