Horrors! The delicious smell of roasting coffee as you walk or drive anywhere near Broadway in the heart of down town Kansas City is about to be stanched for ever! Since 1908 the aroma that has been delighting passers-by, its caffeinated tendrils wafting passed the noses and awakening the senses of Kansas Citians for more than a hundred years is about to be snuffed out by parent company, J.M. Smucker Co.
According to an article in the Kansas City Star, Folgers Coffee Co. will close its longtime downtown plant by 2012, eliminating about 180 jobs. A Facebook fan page has already been created to try to make Folgers change that plan. The fan page can be found by going to Facebook and searching for Folgers on Facebook and then clicking the “Become a Fan” button at the top of the page. It can also be accessed directly at http://www.facebook.com/savefolgerskc. A Twitter page at www.twitter.com/saveFolgersKC has also been established for tweets about the plant, it’s history and it’s impact on the Kansas City community.
J.M.Smucker Co., famous mostly for it’s jams and jellies, bought Folgers from Proctor & Gamble Co. in 2008 and now plans to close several plants and furlough 700 workers. According to The Wall Street Journal, Smucker last month said its fiscal third-quarter earnings jumped 74% amid fewer one-time charges as revenue increased and margins surged.
Meanwhile, the company plans to spend $220 million over the next three years in its coffee and namesake businesses, building a new plant and expenditures for new equipment and technology. Construction on the Ohio facility is expected to begin this fall, with initial production start-up in the summer of 2012.
The grass roots Facebook and Twitter effort to let officials at Smucker know that their customers, jam, jelly and coffee fans alike, disapprove of a company posting record earnings, while laying off the workers who helped them get there, and the shuttering of historic buildings and operations that are part of the fabric of a city and its past.