Chamber learns more about Green Mountain Coffee

Published 8:34 am Saturday, June 9, 2012


SMITHFIELD—The operations director of a new coffee facility bringing 800 jobs to Western Tidewater attended the Small Business Week in Virginia luncheon at The Smithfield Center Thursday.

Marlene Bialecki updated the Isle of Wight-Smithfield-Windsor Chamber of Commerce audience on Green Mountain Coffee Roasters’ progress in establishing a $180 million coffee roasting, grinding and packaging facility in Windsor.

Bialecki said 1,200 people attended an April job fair to hire workers, adding the company was overwhelmed with the response and by the talent of applicants.

“(They were) very interested in us, and we are very interested in them, and we’re very humbled by that experience,” she said.

Hiring is continuing with another 50 positions set to be filled during the next six months. Machine operators, maintenance technicians, material handlers and quality assurance staff are needed.

Production is expected to begin during the next two months, Bialecki said. The company is preparing the property it purchased in the Shirley T. Holland Intermodal Park.

“The facility will not only be an integral part (of the company’s operations),” she said. “Its employees will become important contributors to the Green Mountain Coffee culture as it has been cultivated through its conception. We look forward to continuing to support the region in terms of job creation, investment and community partnership.”

The facility will operate 24 hours daily with a weekly production goal of one million portion packs for Keurig Single-Cup Brewing Systems.

The company chose Windsor due to Isle of Wight County’s overwhelming view of what business means to the community, she said, citing the tremendous amount of work by county Director of Economic Development Lisa Perry and her group.

Gov. Bob McDonnell helped the county secure the deal by approving a $4 million Governor’s Opportunity Fund grant.

The new facility is being established in a 330,000-square-foot building on 64 acres purchased for $15 million.

Up to $800 million is expected to be invested in the facility in the initial five years.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters has production and distribution facilities in five states, and Ontario and Quebec.