Camarillo Coffee Roasters/Tea Brewers have a Global Reach

Local firm doing well- great products

CoffeeBeanlogo200Spotlight on Business

By Daniel Gelman

American manufacturing is alive and kicking in an unassuming industrial park in Camarillo. International Coffee & Tea, salve LLC, buy alias Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf operates a coffee roasting and tea brewing facility at 33939 Pancho Road off the Pleasant Valley Rd/Santa Rosa Road exit of the 101 Freeway. This unsung workplace churns out  product for their 950 stores in 28 countries in a relentless 20 hour-per-day cycle. One third of the stores are corporate-owned, treat while the rest operate as franchises. They also run a retail store  at 4580 Calle Alto in Camarillo (below).

Coffeebeanstore

Herb Hyman founded “Coffee Bean,” as it is commonly known, in 1963 in West Los Angeles, and moved with his family and multiple friends to Camarillo in 1981. That’s when he got the idea to develop a new custom built property site close to home. Initially his building was shared with other tenants, but now it utilizes the full 35,000 square feet of manufacturing space. The corporate headquarters is still in Los Angeles.

Although he sold the business to the world famous Sassoon family in the 90’s, he still owns the Camarillo building as well as the corporate bakery building in Santa Monica. The Sassoon’s are eastern religious Jews with mercantile origins in Iraq, India, China, Indonesia, Singapore, and now Los Angeles. Coffee Bean is a kosher business.

The facility employs about 65 people including line workers and administrators, according to Jay Isais, Senior Director of Coffee and Manufacturing. Jay has been with the company in the same position for 14 years and lives in Camarillo. He worked for Hillside Coffee and Gloria Jean’s Gourmet Coffee

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Jay Isais, Senior Director of Coffee & Manufacturing, with local processor employee in Ethiopia

Jay buys all the coffee from suppliers worldwide, supervises the factory operations, and reports to a corporate Vice President. Coffee Bean just hired John Dawson as their new President and CEO. He was previously the Global Development Officer at Dunkin Donuts and also worked for McDonalds. Advent International, a private equity firm in Boston recently became a major stakeholder in the coffee chain, along with an Asian company called CDIB.

Next door is a small retail outlet of Coffee Bean that operates on weekdays only and closes by 6 p.m. It exists primarily to serve workers in the surrounding industrial park, in addition to the Coffee Bean workers. The store employs five people. Employees get one free premium drink per day and unlimited coffee and tea.

About half a dozen trucks come in and out of the building per day. They use a third party distributor in East L.A. The building uses combustion “afterburners” to burn particulate matter from the smoke that the roasting process generates. These are regulated and monitored by the Ventura County Air Pollution District.

Coffee Bean conducts tours of the facility periodically and is involved with community outreach. There are monthly tours for new hires when community members are invited, and many locals arrange meetings and tours for their civic groups, schools, and companies. These include the mom’s clubs in Camarillo, the Camarillo Chamber of Commerce, and the Ventura County Association for Operations Management. They also sponsor activities at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Camarillo, where Jay Isais once sat on the board.

Roasting_Department_002Above: The Camarillo roasting/brewing plant

Master Roaster Jesse Martinez has been with the company for 20 years and Director of Tea David DeCandia for 19 years. There are two roasting machines, and various packaging machines with light assembly line operation. Employees are cross-trained. At any given time, the location also employs half a dozen full time temporary workers through Select Staffing and Exact Staff of Ventura County. Employee uniforms are serviced by Prudential Overall Supply. Operations are active about 20 hours per day with overlapping shifts.

Coffee_Packaging_2014_004Above: The coffee packaging line

“The packaging lines are the most visual on the tour,” Isais told CJ. Community interest is encouraged. The tour gives you a unique insight into how a raw product becomes a marketable one and the adjacent store maintains a very local vibe. “People know about our store on Arneill Road in Camarillo, but a lot of people don’t realize we have another one here. We’d love to see more people stop by,” he concluded.

 Regional Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Shops …..

CoffeeBeanShops

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Daniel Gelman, who lives in  Thousand Oaks, has been a freelance Reporter/Writer for several years, specializing in News, Business, Feature, and Op-Ed.

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Citizen Reporter
Citizen Reporter
7 years ago
Stefan Djordjevic
Stefan Djordjevic
7 years ago

Nice to know that such an interesting and productive enterprise is based in our backyard. Thanks.