Starbucks roasting plant scheduled to open today |

Starbucks roasting plant scheduled to open today

Karl Horeis

A Starbucks coffee bean-roasting plant off Johnson Lane is scheduled to begin operations today, company officials said.

The 360,000-square-foot plant will operate at full capacity, as production and staffing levels will be increased in phases over a five-year period.

“We are excited to become a part of the Northern Nevada community,” said general manager Thomas Pasinger when Starbucks purchased the land near Minden-Tahoe Airport in November 2001.

Once in full production, the Minden plant is expected to employ 250 workers and process between 60 million and 100 million pounds of coffee beans per year, a level comparable to Starbucks’ main Washington plant.

After five months of negotiations, Starbucks purchased the 100-acre site at the Carson Valley Business Park for $4.6 million.

Florida-based Haskell Construction built the massive facility, which cost about $40 million, according to figures submitted to the Nevada Commission on Economic Development.

The Carson Valley plant, one of three in the nation, is designed to supply beans to the company’s expanding Southern California and Southwest markets. The company’s other two roasting plants are in Kent, Wash., and York, Pa.

In a unanimous decision, the Douglas County Planning Commission gave Starbucks a height variance, allowing it to build 80-foot storage silos despite the county’s height restriction of 45 feet.

Starbucks, which opens an average of three new stores per day, is the world’s leading retailer, roaster and brand of specialty coffee. In addition to its retail locations in the United States, including eight in Northern Nevada, the company is expanding in the United Kingdom, continental Europe, the Middle East and Pacific Rim nations.

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