ROCKY MOUNT—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Traditional Medicinals, the leading seller of wellness tea in the United States, will invest $29.7 million to establish an East Coast herbal tea manufacturing and processing operation in the Summit View Business Park in Franklin County. Virginia successfully competed with North Carolina for the project, which will create 56 new jobs.
The company will build a state-of-the-art, 125,000-square-foot facility to increase production and market share. The Governor, joined by First Lady Pamela Northam, celebrated the announcement at an event today in Rocky Mount.
“Traditional Medicinals is committed to strengthening rural communities and being good for the planet, and I welcome them to our Commonwealth,” said Governor Northam. “Traditional Medicinals’ decision to locate its East Coast operation in Virginia is a strong reflection of our business-friendly environment, our infrastructure, and our work to support emerging food and beverage processing markets.”
Traditional Medicinals, Inc., a Certified B Corporation, is a pioneer of the wellness tea category and the leading seller of organic and Fair Trade Certified™ herbal teas in the United States and Canada. The company’s more than 50 high-quality wellness teas are formulated by herbalists using pharmacopoeial grade herbs. Founded in Sebastopol, California in 1974, Traditional Medicinals is an independent company that embraces sustainability, ingredient purity, and social and environmental activism.
“Traditional Medicinals’ significant investment is the largest in Franklin County’s Summit View Business Park,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “This industry-leading company’s decision to locate its East Coast operation in Franklin County gives Traditional Medicinals direct access to the Port of Virginia, enabling the company to import international herbs and export its final products overseas. This is also an important project as Virginia works to make a name for itself in the coffee and tea industry.”
“It was incredibly important that we found a location that embodied our company values,” said Blair Kellison, CEO of Traditional Medicinals. “We’ve worked for decades to ensure that the work we do positively impacts both the environment and the people in the communities where we do business—both on a local level and in the 42 countries where we purchase herbs. We are proud to become a part of Franklin County and the greater Roanoke community and look forward to making a positive social business impact here.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) worked with Franklin County and the Roanoke Regional Partnership to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Northam approved a $350,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Franklin County with the project. The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission has approved a grant for $245,000 from the Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund for the project. The company is also eligible to receive benefits from the Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Zone Grant Program.
Support for Traditional Medicinals’ job creation will be provided through the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program, a new workforce initiative created by VEDP in collaboration with the Virginia Community College System, with funding support from the Northam administration and the Virginia General Assembly. Launched in 2019, the program accelerates new facility start-ups through the direct delivery of recruitment and training services that are fully customized to a company’s unique products, processes, equipment, standards, and culture. All program services are provided at no cost to qualified new and expanding companies as an incentive for job creation. Traditional Medicinals is the third company to benefit from the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program.
“Traditional Medicinals is a world-class company, and Franklin County is extremely excited for them to join our business community and the growing list of firms that call the Summit View Business Park home,” said Franklin County Board of Supervisors Chairman Leland Mitchell. “Summit View was strategically developed to better attract companies that create high-paying jobs, invest capital in our economy, and become leaders in the community. Traditional Medicinals meets all of these requirements and more. It is gratifying to see the County’s vision coming to life and we thank Traditional Medicinals for their partnership and their trust in Franklin County.”
“The Port of Virginia welcomes Traditional Medicinals to Virginia and to the state’s growing coffee and tea manufacturing industry,” said John F. Reinhart, CEO and Executive Director of the Virginia Port Authority. “We understand that the safe, efficient movement of cargo is important to the success of Traditional Medicinals, this growing industry, and the Virginia economy. The Port has helped to nurture the growth of this industry for years by providing access to world markets and working with its leaders to support expansion. We are looking forward to a long and collaborative relationship with Traditional Medicinals.”
“Traditional Medicinals’ significant investment is a game changer for Franklin County,” said Congressman Denver Riggleman. “Investments by companies like this create good jobs and have a transformative effect in the community. I am very excited by this announcement and continuing to grow Southside’s economy.”
“Traditional Medicinals is a welcome addition to our business community in Franklin County,” said Senator Bill Stanley, Tobacco Commission member. “Attracting an industry leading company like Traditional Medicinals shows that Franklin County, and all of Southside Virginia, can compete with anyone for high-quality jobs. I welcome Traditional Medicinals to our community and look forward to seeing construction get underway on their new facility.”
“This announcement is a significant step on the road to bringing in new businesses to Franklin County and developing the Summit View Business Park,” said Delegate Charles Poindexter. “I am pleased to see a different type of business locate in Franklin County and welcome the diversity and the export/import attributes of Traditional Medicinals.”