Dec 9 Peet's Coffee & Tea, a longtime rival to
Starbucks Corp, said on Friday it will invest $58
million to open a new coffee roasting facility in Suffolk,
Virginia, to support its expanding business in an increasingly
The move from Peet's comes as Starbucks is making
significant investment to stave off competition from upscale,
independent coffee shops, such as Stumptown Coffee Roasters and
Intelligentsia Coffee. Peet's owns Stumptown and has a majority
stake in Intelligentsia.
Peet's Chief Executive Dave Burwick told Reuters the new
plant will create 135 new jobs and support the company's
expanding business, which includes operating cafes and selling
packaged coffee via grocery stores.
Burwick welcomed the news that Starbucks Chief Executive and
co-founder Howard Schultz will focus on building a new
ultra-premium "Reserve" brand after he steps down as CEO in
"We like it. The more interest there is in super-premium
coffee, the more opportunities Peet's will have," Burwick said.
Peet's new 175,000-square-foot facility will more than
double current capacity, said Chief Operating Officer Shawn
Burwick also said Peet's estimated sales will total $800
million this year, double what they were when Joh. A. Benckiser
- the investment holding company of the Reimanns, the German
billionaire family associated with Reckitt Benckiser - took
Peet's private after buying the company in October 2012.
(Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles, editing by G