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Starbucks breaks ground on Georgia manufacturing plant

Starbucks is bucking the trend, at a time when most American manufacturing companies go overseas. The new plant will create over 140 jobs in the state of Georgia.

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Customers queue for coffee at a Starbucks inside the Dulles International Airport complex on August 30, 2011 in Dulles, Virginia, near Washington, DC. (PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

Starbucks is bucking the trend by bringing manufacturing jobs back home.

On Friday, the coffee giant broke ground on its first company-owned factory to make soluble products in the US, in Augusta, Georgia, the Wall Street Journal reported.

"Even with all the international expansion we have done, America is still our largest consumer base," Peter Gibbons, head of Starbucks's global supply chain operations told the Journal. "This will increase speed-to-market while reducing inventory costs and helping us ensure a more predictable supply."

According to a company statement, the $172 million facility which is expected to open in January 2014 will create about "140 high-quality American manufacturing jobs, in addition to hundreds of indirect jobs related to construction, shipping and other supply chain functions."

More from GlobalPost: Starbucks breaking out from coffee, set to open Tazo Tea shops

Starbucks already has four roasting plants in the U.S., where it roasts and packages coffee for in America and Asia.

The Associated Press reported Starbucks is trying to branch out past its core coffee products as it faces fierce competition from rivals such as McDonald's and Dunkin' Donuts.

According to the AP, Starbucks recently announced plans to open its first Tazo tea shop and its first Evolution Fresh juice store.

Starbucks says while it would save on labor costs abroad, a US plant creates savings on transportation and leads to higher quality products.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business/120713/starbucks-breaks-ground-georgia-manufacturing-plant