Westrock Coffee
Westrock Coffee CEO Scott Ford raises a ready-to-drink coffee can at the grand opening of the company’s new manufacturing facility in Conway on Thursday.

Westrock Coffee held the grand opening last week for its new 570,000-square-foot, $315 million manufacturing facility in Conway.

According to a news release from the Little Rock-based coffee purveyor, the plant’s 45-acre campus at 480 Exchange Ave. is the largest “roast to ready-to-drink” manufacturing facility in North America. The facility features a beverage development laboratory and will use the latest end-to-end automation technology and robotics for “seamless manufacturing from green coffee receiving through roast and grind, extraction and all the through to bottling and packaging.”

Advertisement

The facility will produce finished coffee products in cans, bottles, bags-in-boxes, pumps, totes and drums. A large onsite grinder at the facility is capable of processing up to 15,000 pounds of coffee per hour, according to a list of FAQs provided to the media.

Westrock Coffee
Westrock Coffee will produce ready to drink beverages at its new facility in Conway.

The facility is currently operating at 75% capacity, the release says. It is designed for further expansion with infrastructure to add an additional four to six packaging lines. Arkansas Business reported last week that the facility currently employs 170, but at full capacity, it will be able to staff up to 900 people.

Advertisement

Additionally, the company has completed a new 530,000 square-foot warehouse and distribution center two miles from the campus, which will help reduce transportation time and “maintain a smooth and transparent flow of materials and finished goods.”

Courtesy of Westrock Coffee
Westrock Coffee’s new production facility in Conway.

Westrock CEO and co-founder Scott Ford called the opening “a critical milestone” for the company.

Advertisement

“This uniquely positions us as a leading force in beverage production across any channel and beverage format. Moreover, this facility extends our commitment to sustainability and responsible sourcing for our customers, farmer partners, and the communities we serve.”

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who attended the grand opening on Thursday, was quoted in the release.

Advertisement

“The Ford family’s commitment to Arkansas is legendary, and today’s opening is just the latest in the long string of investments and jobs they’ve created for our state,” Sanders said.

A spokesperson for the company said the facility opened ahead of schedule and under budget.

Advertisement

Help to Keep Great Journalism Alive in Arkansas

Imagine the power of a dedicated voice bringing to light the challenges and triumphs of Arkansas’s largest industry. With a $25,000 match from Report For America, the Arkansas Times will bring on a reporter dedicated to covering agricultural and environmental issues in The Natural State. This role is crucial: agriculture employs 243,000 Arkansans and generates $19 billion annually. Help us ensure that our farmers and agricultural workers are given the coverage they deserve. Your donation makes a direct impact—support local journalism that supports Arkansas.

Previous article Remembering Daisy Bates: Recollections of the newspaperwoman and mentor Next article Arkansas Game and Fish Commission budget moves along swimmingly