ROANOKE, Va. (October 31, 2017) – Humm Kombucha, one of the fastest growing kombucha companies in the United States, announced today it will build an East Coast manufacturing facility in the city of Roanoke. The company, based in Bend, Ore., will invest more than $10 million in a 100,000 square foot facility to be built on a 12-acre site in the Roanoke Centre for Industry & Technology where it will employ approximately 50 people. Humm is the second Bend-based company to locate in Roanoke, following the 2016 announcement that Deschutes Brewery will build a brewery in the same industrial park.
Virginia Tech’s Department of Food Science and Technology Fermentation Program is one of the first programs in North America to earn recognition from the Master Brewers Association of the Americas (MBAA).
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It sure does have a nice ring to it.
What you might not know is that Deschutes to Roanoke is a project four years in the making.
Here’s a glimpse of how it came together.
- January 2012: Roanoke Regional Partnership begins “water” campaign to showcase the Roanoke Region’s availability of high quality and quantity of water, good wastewater capacity, and affordability.
- May 2012: Partnership holds conference call with Deschutes’ Michael Lalonde, president & COO; and Peter Skrbek, CFO.
- July 2012: Partnership creates outreach campaign of Deschutes beer photographed around the Roanoke Region and sends to company.
- October 2012: Partnership and Virginia Economic Development Partnership travel to Great American Beer Festival to meet with Gary Fish, founder and chairman, and Michael Lalonde, president, at Great American Beer Festival.
The ongoing dialogue between the Roanoke Region and Deschutes began to take shape with constant communication over the next couple of years. It became clear that the communities had a lot in common. The process included an official request for information in October 2013 and multiple visits between Bend and Roanoke.
- March-April 2014: Search for sites begins.
- October 2014: Partnership asks for Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s assistance.
- November 2014: Partnership meets with company in Bend.
Business and quality of life. These two components were a part of multiple visits here by from Deschutes employees. Business was on the agenda although almost every visit included fun – from joining hundreds of people on the greenway for a pub run to biking at Carvins Cove to having a bite and a beer at some of the region’s best restaurants.
- November 2014: Dinner for Deschutes team at Governor’s mansion.
- November 2014: Roanoke visit and tour of potential Roanoke Region sites by Deschutes team. Later, in February 2015 the consultant informs the City of Roanoke a site in the Roanoke Centre for Industry & Technology is a Virginia finalist.
- February 2015: Partnership contracts with Six-Eleven Bicycle Co. to make a Deschutes branded bicycle which is featured in a video to company.
- May 2015: City of Roanoke staff travels to Bend for reconnaissance.
- May 2015: Deschutes team spends time in Roanoke to evaluate the site and take in activities, events and learn more about similarities between Roanoke and Bend.
- June-September 2015: Serious conversations between Deschutes and the City of Roanoke begin.
Media coverage began to appear that Deschutes was looking for an East Coast home and Roanoke was among a handful of communities on that list. Support from all over the region – from editorials in the newspaper to chatter in the community to the #Deschutes2Rke campaign on social media to gifts sent from individuals to the brewery – has been incredible. You could hardly leave home without someone talking about Deschutes’ East Coast aspirations.
- October 2015: The “Deschutes 2 Roanoke” Facebook page, created by Michael Galliher, shows overwhelming community support for the project. Social groups, organizations, and individuals post photos to social media holding signs spelling #Deschutes2Rke.
- November 2015: City of Roanoke is selected as the preferred site for the project, pending due diligence and agreement on terms.
- December 31, 2015: City of Roanoke receives signed letter of intent from Deschutes.
- March 22, 2016: Deschutes announces that it has selected Roanoke for its East Coast location.
Deschutes Roanoke: For questions and inquiries
Deschutes Brewery: General brewery information and beer finder
Announcement: Media information
#Deschutes2Rke: Social media feed
Location: Roanoke Centre for Industry & Technology
Partners in this Project
- Roanoke Regional Partnership
- Virginia Economic Development Partnership
- Virginia Jobs Investment Partnership
- City of Roanoke city manager’s office
- City of Roanoke economic development staff
- City of Roanoke parks & recreation staff
- City of Roanoke sustainability and outreach coordinator
- City of Roanoke planning zoning and development staff
- City of Roanoke real estate valuation staff
- City of Roanoke city attorney’s office
- 310 Marketing, Ltd.
- Roanoke County economic development staff
- Botetourt County administration
- Appalachian Power
- Roanoke Gas
- Norfolk Southern
- Virginia Cooperative Extension Service
- Commodity Specialists
- Branch Associates
- Virginia Western Community College Mechatronics Program
- Black Dog Salvage
- Mike Rigney, Orvis
- Center in the Square
- Fleet Feet Sports Pub Run
- Six Eleven Bicycle Company
- Wholesome Harvest Foods
- Integrity Windows
- Ardagh Packaging
- Novozymes BioAg
- Coca Cola Bottling Co.
- Parkway Brewing
- Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op
- Chaos Mountain Brewing Company
- Blue 5
- Texas Tavern
- Ed Walker
- Hotel Roanoke
- Roanoke Mountain Adventures
- Summit Springs Shooting Sports
- Ride Solutions
- Sean McGinnis, green engineering program director, Virginia Tech
You can already feel the economic impact of Deschutes Brewery’s expansion to the Roanoke Region.
The Street Pub raised $81,000 for nine local nonprofits in late August. The one-day event broke the record for the nationwide event with 241 kegs of beer poured for 22,000 festival-goers.
The impact of the Deschutes project extends well beyond the announcement of future jobs and investment.
Here’s the trickle-down effect of the Deschutes Brewery announcement:
- Deschutes Brewery will build an $85 million manufacturing facility in the Roanoke, a project that the Partnership worked on for four years
- The brewery brought about 60 employees to Roanoke in the days preceding the Street Pub, filling hotel rooms and local restaurants
- This month, Deschutes hosted a company-wide sales meeting in Roanoke with 90 employees, accounting for 350+ room nights in area hotels
- Deschutes is sponsoring events in the region, including GO Fest, a Tinker Creek Greenway cleanup the weekend of the Street Pub, and a cyclocross race featuring pro riders
The Deschutes project is a great example of the many ways the Partnership creates economic impact in the region.