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News That’s Not Dreary (Editorial)

2 min read

The poet T.S. Eliot had it wrong: Dreary February, not April, is the cruelest month. So perhaps we’ll be forgiven if we focus today on some positive news.

 Westrock Coffee Co. of Little Rock is adding to its substantial Conway footprint by building a $70 million, 530,000-SF distribution center. The center will be just a couple of miles away from where Westrock is spending $275 million to renovate the 524,000-SF former Kimberly-Clark plant, transforming it into what the coffee company says will be the largest ready-to-drink packaging plant in the world.

 Rather than drain the wetlands at its 281-acre site at the Little Rock Port Industrial Park, Italian ammunition manufacturer Fiocchi of America is seeking to preserve the location. “Leaving the wetlands in place will help with water runoff and wildlife conservation,” Bryan Day, executive director of the Little Rock Port Authority, told Senior Editor George Waldon. “It’s the first time anyone has done anything like this at the Little Rock Port.”

 Canoo Inc., the electric vehicle maker moving its headquarters to Bentonville, has won a contract to supply battery modules to the Defense Department. The announcement comes a few days after Canoo signed an agreement to sell, service and distribute fleet vehicles in Saudi Arabia.

 Envirotech Vehicles Inc. of Osceola, another electric vehicle maker, has delivered its first all-electric aircraft refueler to Atlantic Aviation in Colorado. The vehicle can carry 900 gallons of aviation gasoline. It developed the vehicle with Garsite, a Kansas City, Kansas, aviation equipment refueling company.

 A homegrown company, 7 Brew Coffee of Fayetteville, appears poised for rapid growth with its development of a scalable model for coffee stands.

There likely will be bumps along the way for all of these enterprises. Business, like life, is unpredictable. But it’s the trying that counts.

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