The Oregonian reports that the Starbucks-owned Tazo Tea is moving out of its long-time Central Eastside Industrial digs to an already existing production facility in Kent, Washington. According to a Starbucks spokesperson, the move represents an effort to "streamline and expand" the Tazo brand, and follows through on a 2009 rumor that the brand was looking to leave its home city.
Local tea guru Steven Smith founded the Tazo line in the mid-'90s, selling the brand to Starbucks in 1999 (he currently operates the NW Industrial-based Steven Smith Teamaker, the third line of artisan teas Smith has created during a storied career). Tazo had moved its corporate offices from Portland to Seattle two years ago, and according to the O, "Starbucks expects to begin the move in April and finish the following November."
· Starbucks, Looking to Grow Tazo Tea Brand, Will Move [OregonLive]
· All Previous Steve Smith Coverage [Eater PDX]
Image of Tazo at Starbucks courtesy cafemama via Flickr