Humm Kombucha drops its Roanoke expansion plans

Like Deschutes Brewery, market changes intervened

BEND, Ore. - First, Deschutes Brewery pulled back from its East Coast expansion plans, shelving a big factory it planned to build in Roanoke, Virginia. Now, fellow Bend company Humm Kombucha has also dropped its similar plans for a plant there.

Roanoke, Virginia officials disclosed this week that the kombucha company told city leaders in May that challenging market conditions and improved production and transportation capabilities at its Bend plant led to the decision, The Roanoke Times reported Tuesday.

The paper noted that Deschutes Brewery has left the door open, as it still owns a 49-acre site bought from the city for $3.2 million. 

The Roanoke City Council agreed Monday to repurchase the land Humm bought (at a price of nearly $1 million) for its plant, so it can be marketed to other firms. It also accepted $100,000 from Humm as compensation for tying up the land for more than 18 months.

City Manager Bob Cowell said both Bend firms faced changes in their markets before they could get their Roanoke facilities built.

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