Little Rock, Arkansas-based Westrock Coffee Co. LLC is expanding its operations and beverage capabilities with the purchase of a new facility in Conway, Arkansas that, when fully built out, will be the largest facility of its type in the United States.
Westrock Coffee also will expand its extracts manufacturing capacity in Concord, North Carolina, and launch new operations in Malaysia that will serve its growing customer demand across the Asia-Pacific (APAC) and Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regions.
“We are expanding our finished product offerings, adding end beverage packaging solutions and expanding our geographic reach to meet our growing customer demand,” said Scott Ford, CEO and co-founder of Westrock Coffee. “Our growth benefits everyone at Westrock Coffee – from our global customers and farmer partners to our current and future employees and the communities where they live. These facility expansion announcements provide further evidence that we are well on our way to accomplishing our mission of building and efficiently operating the preeminent integrated coffee, tea and extract supply chain in the world in order to enhance the lives of our farmer partners and fuel the success of the customers that we serve.”
“Westrock Coffee Company provides the drink that fuels many Arkansans in the workplace and others all around the world,” Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said. “The expansion into Conway by repurposing this facility and providing new jobs reflects the growth of Westrock and the fact that Arkansas is a dynamic and welcoming place to do business.”
New Conway facility
The company finalized the purchase of a 524,000-square-foot facility in Conway that will provide Westrock Coffee ample space for the development, production and distribution of its coffee, tea and ready-to-drink products.
The location will utilize state-of-the-art equipment, including advanced robotics, specifically designed to efficiently manufacture and package a wide range of beverages, such as canned or bottled cold brew coffees, lattes, assorted teas and juice-based products as well as single serve coffee cups.
The space will also incorporate state-of-the-art quality assurance and product development labs, enabling Westrock Coffee to create, test and produce new beverage solutions.
The new Conway location will require a variety of skilled jobs to support the focus on global product innovation, manufacturing and packaging. Initially, up to 50 new jobs will be created following phase one of the build out, which is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2023, then growing to approximately 250 positions over time.
Many of the jobs needed to operate the facility will require a significantly advanced and skilled workforce, commanding higher salaries, ranging up to more than $100,000 per year.
Conway will be an addition to the company’s already established presence in Arkansas, which has corporate offices in Little Rock and a manufacturing facility in North Little Rock.
Upgrades in Concord, North Carolina
In addition, the company announced it is expanding its Commercial Park location in Concord, North Carolina. The expansion of this extract manufacturing facility will allow Westrock Coffee to respond to unprecedented growth due to burgeoning customer demand for its extract, tea and herbal products.
The expansion will add two fully automated production lines, which will increase overall capacity of extracts processing at this facility by more than 50 percent. The expansion will also include modernizing its current manufacturing and packaging process for bottled products. Upgrades to the Concord facility should be complete by the end of 2022.
“We have seen strong product demand and customer growth over the past year, and our expansion puts us at the forefront of providing beverage solutions for any type of business in any form of finished packaging. This progress is a testament to every person who plays a role in our day-to-day operations,” said Ford.
Addition in Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Work is already complete on the 90,000-square-foot, two-building facility in Johor Bahru, Malaysia announced earlier this year, with finished goods production set to begin in the first quarter of 2022. The new facility, which is 30 minutes from the international hub of Singapore, will enhance Westrock Coffee’s roasting capacity to accommodate for increases in manufacturing, packaging and warehousing of coffee and extract solutions across APAC and MENA regions.
While Westrock Coffee has a history in international coffee trade and export, this will be its first roasting, manufacturing and packaging facility outside of the U.S.
Westrock Coffee Co. is an integrated coffee, tea and extract service provider in the U.S., providing coffee sourcing and financing, supply chain management, product development, roasting, packaging and distribution services to retailers, restaurants, convenience stores, commercial accounts and hospitality customers around the world.
With offices in 10 countries, the company sources coffee and tea from 35 origin countries and provides service under both the Westrock Coffee and S&D Coffee & Tea brands.