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Community buys Harahan coffee manufacturing facility

Community Coffee Co. has purchased an 87,000-square-foot coffee manufacturing facility in Harahan with plans to use the property as part of an overall expansion.

The Baton Rouge-based coffee company completed the deal on the manufacturing plant at 1201 Edwards Ave. on Wednesday. The sale price was not disclosed, but an online listing showed it had an asking price of $4.6 million.

“This additional facility is in an ideal location to support the continued growth of our business while increasing our overall manufacturing capacity,” David Belanger, president and chief executive officer of Community Coffee, said in a statement. “We are excited about the company’s future and this facility is part of our overall strategic expansion plan.”

Community has a coffee roasting and manufacturing plant in Port Allen since the late 1960s. Over that time, the brand has grown beyond its South Louisiana home and more products have been developed. Community is now being sold in 20 states and is the exclusive coffee offered on Southwest Airlines flights.

For the past six or so years, the building had been used by Folgers Coffee Co. as a coffee manufacturing plant, said Randall Walker, of The Industrial Group, a Metairie-based commercial real estate firm. Walker represented J.M. Smucker, the parent company of Folgers, in the sale.

Hank Saurage, of Saurage Commercial Real Estate in Baton Rouge, represented Community. Saurage is the great-grandson of H.N. “Cap” Saurage, who founded Community Coffee in 1919.

Smuckers decided to consolidate all of its area coffee manufacturing at a facility in New Orleans East and moved out of the Harahan building at the end of 2017, Walker said.

“They had a surplus building, so they put it on the market,” he said. “Community Coffee came along and acquired it as Smuckers was moving out. It was a fairly seamless transaction.”

The building opened in 1969. Before Smuckers acquired it, Sara Lee Corp. had a coffee manufacturing operation on the property, Walker said. “It’s always been used by the food industry,” he said.

By Timothy Boone

(c)2018 The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.



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