Fresh off its recent $30 million acquisition of super-premium juice brand Evolution Fresh, Starbucks made another major move this week as the coffee giant announced plans to relocate its Tazo Tea business from Portland, Ore. to Kent, Wash. With the move, Starbucks will improve production efficiencies and streamline operations as the company consolidates and upgrades its manufacturing plant in Kent.
Starbucks spokesman Alan Hilowitz said that the transition will begin in April of next year and be completed by November, according to an article in the Portland Business Journal. Hilowitz said that Tazo had outgrown its Portland headquarters and that the move was necessary for future growth of the brand and Starbucks as a whole.
Tazo Tea was founded in Portland in 1994 and purchased by Starbucks five years later. The brand has been a huge part of Starbucks’ business and generated more than $1 billion in revenue for the company via sales of a number of products including loose and packaged teas and a line of ready-to-drink teas. Tazo will undoubtedly continue to be an important part of Starbucks particularly as the company estimates that sales of its consumer products will one day rival those of its retail store business.
The 37 employees at Tazo’s current offices will be offered jobs and relocation expenses, though employees who do not want to move will be given a full severance package.