Atlantic Coffee Solutions set to close its doors in Houston's East End

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Atlantic Coffee Solutions set to close its doors in Houston's East End. (KTRK)

From the Metro Rail to townhouses and new businesses, the East End has experienced a lot of growth but one thing that didn't seem to change over the decades was the aroma of roasting coffee coming from the iconic plant on Harrisburg.

It's a smell many grew up with and found very comforting.

"Smelling it throughout the day...reminiscing on good times," said Tyrone Williams.

Now, it seems all good things do come to an end.

"I'm starting to get emotional just thinking about it," said Williams, who started working at the plant in 2012.

This past Friday, he and all 279 employees were called to a meeting where they were told the plant would be closing this summer.

"It was devastating when they told us. They had a lot of people crying," said Williams.

A statement from Atlantic Coffee Solutions reads in part:

"The facility has enjoyed a long history in the East End of Houston...however, the coffee industry has changed dramatically in recent years and low cost products from other countries have created substantial economic challenges for the company."

"It's going to be devastating, in my opinion it's going to hurt," said Richard.

Longtime employees like Richard said not only will the smell of coffee be missed but it is the sounds coming from the plant that will make this decision all too real.

"After hearing it for so long you know what to listen for you know the bells the whistles," he said. "Being from Second Ward you automatically hear it."

Richard said it will be like saying goodbye to an old friend.

The 1-million-square-foot plant was previously home to Maxwell House Coffee, which was owned by General Foods and later Kraft Foods. Maxwell House moved into the building at 3900 Harrisburg in 1946.

Atlantic Coffee Solutions is one of the largest coffee manufacturing plants in the world.
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