Jobs news perks up

Published 11:07 pm Thursday, September 20, 2012

The scent of coffee emanating from the Wilroy Industrial Park will be even stronger in coming years after Continental Terminals completes a new roasting, sorting, storage and distribution facility there.

The company has purchased a new facility at 1394 Progress Road. The $2.7 million building will have about 35 employees by 2016, according to a press release from the city announcing the purchase.

The five-acre site is across the street from the company’s original warehouse, which has been in use for more than five years.

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“We appreciate the wealth of support we have received from the city of Suffolk,” said Douglas Martocci Sr., president of the company. “We are pleased to be taking this leap forward in our leading role supporting the green coffee industry and coffee roasters. This new facility will add to our capacity to give quality service to our customers and room to grow as we continue to expand our operations.”

The 70,000-square-foot building will also be used for blending, according to the press release. Blending beans from different regions creates different flavor combinations and can ensure consistency as new crops present changes in flavor, the press release said.

The company will be ideally situated to supply coffee beans to existing roasters Massimo Zanetti and The J.M. Smucker Co., both located in the same park. They also plan to partner closely with Green Mountain Coffee in Isle of Wight County, according to the release.

“Suffolk is proud to see Continental Terminals grow and expand its operations in our community,” Mayor Linda T. Johnson said. “Their newest facility and expansion in Suffolk continues to solidify our reputation as the premier location for successful food and beverage operations.”

The company will invest $1.3 million in new equipment and also has the option to expand the facility on the site, the release states.

In addition to coffee, the company also handles cocoa, bottled water, tea, paper, rubber and various metals.

“This is a phenomenal amount of positive news,” City Councilman Mike Duman said during the City Council retreat after several economic development announcements, including Continental Terminals.