Starbucks plant coming together |

Starbucks plant coming together

by Sally J. Taylor, Appeal Staff Writer
The front of the new Starbucks roasting facility, still unfinished, will have a central courtyard and a styled front entry. Photo by Brian Corley

The outside of Starbucks’ new Minden plant looks ready to roast, but the interior furnishings — from roasters to office desks — are still being installed.

“It’s going very, very well; we are on schedule,” said Starbucks’ corporate spokesman Chris Gimbl from his Seattle office. “We expect to begin production after the first of the year.”

Hiring already has begun at the plant. Starbucks held a job fair Sept. 6 at Nevada JobConnect in Reno.

“We’re really happy with the candidates we interviewed there,” Gimbl said. “And we’ll continue to place ads.”

With production still more than three months away, it may seem early to begin hiring, but Gimbl said some of the positions require extensive training that can begin in the next few months.

“It’s a really large work force (to train),” Gimbl said of the 50 to 60 employees who will work in manufacturing, roasting and distribution.

Starbucks employees receive stock options in the company if they work at least 20 hours a week.

The plant production and staffing levels will be increased in phases over a five-year period, Gimbl said. Once in full production, the Minden plant is expected to employ 250 workers and process between 60 million and 100 million pounds of coffee per year, a level comparable to Starbuck’s main Washington plant.

The plant’s six coffee roasters will look and act like very large clothes dryers, Gimbl said. Once loaded, they tumble until the beans are heated through. Then, the beans are released into cooling trays.

Besides roasting and distributing coffee, the Minden plant will be a distribution center for Starbuck’s paper goods, sweets, chocolates and merchandise.

Carson Valley residents won’t have to go far to fill their mug. Starbucks plans to open its first coffee shop in the area this fall at the intersection of Highway 395 and Waterloo Lane in Gardnerville.

The 1,200-square-foot store will feature a drive-up window and probably will open by the end of the month, Gimbl said. The store will employ up to 15 people.

Starbucks opens an average of three new stores per day, Gimbl said. More than 4,000 Starbucks stores are operating in the nation and more than 5,000 worldwide.