Westrock Coffee Co. announced on June 30 it would create 800 total jobs and invest more than $300 million in Conway.
Westrock Coffee CEO and Co-Founder Scott T. Ford made the announcement alongside Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Congressman French Hill, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, and local officials at Westrock’s manufacturing facility in Conway.
“We could not be more excited to headquarter our state-of-the-art extracts and ready-to-drink facility in Conway and Central Arkansas,” said Scott T. Ford, CEO and Co-founder of Westrock Coffee. “This decision represents our unwavering commitment to our employees, the community, and our customers. By expanding our jobs and packaging facility, we are strengthening our foundation for growth and reinforcing our dedication to delivering quality beverage solutions. We are grateful for the support of the Governor’s office, Arkansas Economic Development Commission, and the community of Conway for its continued support.”
This is the third announcement made by Westrock Coffee for Conway since 2021. It purchased the former Kimberly-Clark plant in December 2021, and announced plans for 250 jobs and a $250 million investment — the largest capital investment in Conway’s history — at that time. This most recent announcement of 600 new jobs upped the expected total to 800 jobs in the next five years with an average salary of $70,000. Its total investment is now expected to cross $300 million.
“Today’s announcement further establishes Westrock Coffee as a worldwide leader and powerhouse within the food and beverage industry,” said Governor Sanders. “Westrock Coffee is another Arkansas-based success story, creating new, high-paying jobs in Conway that will benefit this thriving community and the state as a whole for decades to come.”
In January, Westrock Coffee announced a $70 million, 530,000-square-foot distribution center on a 30-acre tract of the Conway Industrial Park. This will give Westrock Coffee more than one million square feet of operating space in Conway.
The distribution center is expected to be completed by the end of 2023 and will support the company’s product and packaging produced at Westrock Coffee’s expanded extract and ready-to-drink manufacturing facility in Conway, as well as additional distribution needs.
Its Conway manufacturing facility will develop, produce, and distribute its coffee, tea, and ready-to-drink products. The location will utilize state-of-the-art equipment, including advanced robotics, specifically designed to efficiently manufacture and package a wide range of beverages such as canned or bottled cold brew coffees, lattes, assorted teas, and juice-based products as well as single-serve coffee cups. The space will also incorporate an industry-leading product development lab and FDA-certified pilot plant, enabling Westrock to create, test, and produce new beverage solutions.
“Westrock Coffee is another example of bold entrepreneurship finding success in Arkansas,” said Arkansas Secretary of Commerce Hugh McDonald. “Arkansas is a welcoming and supportive environment for businesses like Westrock Coffee to thrive and grow, and we’re proud to see this major expansion happen in Conway.”
“This is a significant jobs announcement for the Conway area,” said Clint O’Neal, executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. “Congratulations to Westrock Coffee on its continued success and to the community leaders of Conway for welcoming, fostering, and supporting Westrock Coffee as it continues to fulfill its goal to be a global leader in providing beverage solutions to the most distinguished brands around the world.”
“Healthy cities attract people and companies,” said Conway Mayor Bart Castleberry. “In 2022, Conway was Arkansas’s fastest-growing city. Today’s announcement makes Conway one of the state’s fastest job creators. We look forward to growing together with Westrock Coffee.”
“Westrock will very soon be one of Conway’s largest employers,” said Conway Area Chamber of Commerce CEO Brad Lacy. “They are a global company who will immediately diversify our economy and create quality careers for the people of central Arkansas.”