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Peet’s Coffee and Tea acquires cold brew pioneers Stumptown Coffee Roasters

For over a decade, Stumptown Coffee Roasters has been building a sterling reputation for itself as a leading name in the upscale craft coffee industry. ...

Frazer Jones
|Oct 7|magazine8 min read

For over a decade, Stumptown Coffee Roasters has been building a sterling reputation for itself as a leading name in the upscale craft coffee industry. Now the Portland-based coffee roaster is about to give a jolt of high-end competitive street cred to a different kind of coffee chain: this week Peet’s Coffee & Tea issued a press release announcing that it is acquiring Stumptown Coffee Roasters from its previous shareholders, including majority owner and private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners LLC.  

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Stumptown Coffee Roasters’ physical presence is quite small at the moment: the company only operates 10 select retail locations in Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles and New York. But as a retail brand and a pioneer of cold brew coffee, it enjoys a much broader reach through its ready-to-drink line.

Both Stumptown and Peet’s maintain that this doesn’t foretell and major changes coming to Stumptown Coffee Roasters—the two entities will continue to operate independently “as is,” pursuing their own separate growth strategies. But for Stumptown, a major benefit comes in the form of the resources and scope afforded by Peet’s Coffee & Tea and its parent company JAB Holding Company (also a majority stakeholder in Caribou Coffee Company, Jacobs Douwe Egberts, Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, and several other holdings unrelated to the food and beverage world).

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"It is with great enthusiasm that we welcome Stumptown to the Peet's family," said Dave Burwick, president and CEO of Peet's Coffee & Tea, in the press release. "Stumptown is an innovative leader in premium and cold brew coffee, and we're excited to support and further elevate their presence while extending their reach to more consumers."

"Stumptown has grown significantly over the last five years while maintaining our culture every step of the way, and we are grateful for TSG's partnership during that time,” added Joth Ricci, president of Stumptown Coffee Roasters. “As we look to share Stumptown with even more coffee lovers, Peet's, the original craft coffee company, has the expertise and capabilities to help us continue to grow.”

On the other hand, what’s in it for Peet’s Coffee & Tea? One possible answer: keeping up with the competition. For the last year Starbucks has been building the high-end side of its business through its Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room project, and just recently the brand launched its own cold brew coffee offering.

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Instead of attempting to keep up by engineering a high-end side on its own, Peet’s is going the acquisition route and partnering with one of the most well-known and favored names in the cold brew premium coffee. It’s a smart move, and it could translate to strong growth opportunities for both Peet’s and Stumptown.