Amped up for Peet’s

Published 6:09 pm Saturday, December 10, 2016

Officials poured on the coffee metaphors during a big economic development announcement this week in Suffolk.

With Gov. Terry McAuliffe leading the festivities, Suffolk and regional officials joined representatives from Peet’s Coffee to celebrate the company’s decision to choose Suffolk as the site of a new, $58-million roastery intended to serve the East Coast and provide a solution to the California-based company’s challenge of providing the freshest coffee possible to customers located on the other side of the country.

The announcement further solidifies Suffolk’s “Caffeine Capital” claim, which it staked about three years ago. J.M. Smucker, Massimo Zanetti Beverage and Lipton already process coffee and tea here, and companies like Continental Terminals, Pacorini, Vitex Packaging Group and Crown Cork and Seal are involved in other aspects of the business, such as importing and packaging.

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The city benefits from its location near the Port of Virginia, which has been certified as the only exchange port for coffee imports in the Mid Atlantic area. Companies like Peet’s that choose Suffolk also benefit from a high level of experience in and competency for food service. With companies like Sysco, Wanchese Fish, Reinhart, Planters and others having a long history here, Suffolk has developed a labor pool that is already skilled in the food service trades.

But there’s always room for another, and even Peet’s competitors are likely to be glad to see the company coming to the CenterPoint development near Route 58. The company’s hiring plan will encourage even those who already have the necessary certifications to work in this industry to improve their skills.

Congratulations to Peet’s on its decision to locate in Suffolk, to those from the state and local economic development agencies who worked with the company to encourage them in that decision and to coffee lovers everywhere.

It’s a great time to be in Suffolk.