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Originally published August 18, 2009 at 12:06 AM | Page modified August 18, 2009 at 6:01 PM

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New owner moves Tully's roasting plant to Sumner

Green Mountain Coffee is moving Tully's roasting plant in SoDo to larger plant in Sumner.

Seattle Times business reporter

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, the Vermont company that bought Tully's Coffee's wholesale business in March, plans to relocate its roasting plant — known for its neon-green "T" along Interstate 5 in SoDo — to leased space at the White River Building in Sumner.

The move is expected in late October or November; the old Rainier Brewery building in Seattle will keep the "T" and remain the headquarters for Tully's retail operations.

Green Mountain has offered jobs in Sumner to most of the about 60 people who work at the roasting plant, said Jon Wettstein, Green Mountain's vice president of supply-chain operations.

A handful of its Vermont employees will move to Sumner, and the company expects to hire 60 more workers as the new plant's operations grow over the next 18 months.

The 197,800-square-foot space in Sumner is more than double the size of the existing Tully's plant.

It's also on one level, which Wettstein said will be an improvement from the Seattle layout.

Green Mountain will use it to roast Tully's and other brands of coffee that it owns.

"Our investment in a new, modern site in Sumner will complement our existing facilities in our home state of Vermont and in Knox County, Tennessee," Wettstein said.

Sumner Mayor Dave Enslow said the space Green Mountain will take is a former warehouse.

The area where Green Mountain is moving, just north of Sumner, is also home to a McDonald's baking and food-distribution facility, and Costco and REI distribution warehouses.

Melissa Allison: 206-464-3312 or mallison@seattletimes.com

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