A Tour of Continental Terminals Annex Warehouse

A video tour of Continental Terminals Annex warehouse who house the majority of our green coffee

We mention “the Annex” in our online materials, but haven’t really spelled out where they fit into the green coffee supply chain for us. The Annex is a massive warehouse facility where coffee importers and roasters can store large amounts of green, un-roasted coffee.

Not only do they offer a cool, safe storage environment for coffee, but they also help with important logistical operations like managing all incoming container shipments from origin, and preparing outgoing freight shipments for our wholesale customers. This hardly lays out all that goes into orchestrating the mountain of work they face each day, not to mention the number of employees it takes to manage what seems like an insurmountable volume of coffee in an organized way!

Last November, I jumped at the opportunity to tour their “new” Alameda warehouse on the invite of Executive VP, Dave Weber. Riding around the 400,000+ square foot campus in a golf cart was an eye opening experience, and gave me a newfound appreciation of the crucial role they play in the final leg of a coffee’s journey for us and so many others.

Watch the video.

12 Responses

  1. Thank you for a very cool behind-the-scenes look at the Annex. It’s neat to be able to see what happens before I get my very small amount of beans delivered and how big an organization it really is.

    1. Yes it is quite fascinating to me too, even after 25 years of Sweet Maria’s! Never ceases to amaze …

    1. There’s so much to discover along that little stretch of the Oakland estuary. Some of the best views in the city!


    1. Even after seeing first hand, it’s still hard to fathom! Yet somehow they do, and we’re grateful 🙂


  2. It’s hard to imagine all of our little 2-pound-a-week purchases aggregating into an operation like this. If you don’t mind me asking, roughly how much of your business is retail vs wholesale?

    1. Hi Jeff! It’s fun to see the behind the scenes at the Annex. I rarely get to myself. You might be surprised to know that Sweet Maria’s probably still accounts for more of our overall volume that Coffee Shrub, but they’re getting closer.


  3. How do they physically get those bags, which weigh around 135 lbs if they contain 60kg of coffee, in perfect position on the pallets so that they can stack them so high? One mispositioned bag and the pile of pallets could go down like Yertle the Turtle.

    1. “Yertle the Turtle” reference gave me quite a chuckle!

      This stacking method is actually quite common in other coffee warehouses too, including our own. It’s actually the weight, and large surface area when laid flat, that provide a rock solid, stable base. The smaller pallets cannot be stacked this way due to the narrow footprint.


    1. You buy coffee from the people who store it there. Continental is a service. They don’t sell coffee. Hope that clarifies things

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.