Blue Bottle Coffee
|Founder||W. James Freeman|
|W. James Freeman, Founder|
Karl Strovink, CEO
|Owner||Nestlé 68%, (2017–present)|
Blue Bottle Coffee, Inc. is a coffee roaster and retailer headquartered in Oakland, California, United States. In 2017, a majority stake in the company was acquired by Nestlé (68%). It is considered a major player in third wave coffee. The company focuses on single-origin beans.
The company while based in Oakland, California soon expanded to other areas around the country. Blue Bottle first expanded to several cafés in locations around San Francisco, including the Ferry Building and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's rooftop garden. The company operates 99 stores as of June 2021, with locations in California, New York, Washington, D.C., Boston, Chicago, Seoul, Kyoto, Kobe, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Yokohama.
W. James Freeman founded Blue Bottle Coffee in the early 2000s in Oakland’s Temescal District. Freeman borrowed the name from one of Europe's first cafes, The Blue Bottle Coffee House. His intention was to roast coffee in small batches (6 lbs. per roast) to sell within 24 hours of roasting, initially as a home-delivery service. Blue Bottle soon ceased deliveries and opened as a traditional cafe.
Blue Bottle opened additional locations in San Francisco and elsewhere in the San Francisco Bay Area, and then opened its first New York location in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in 2010. The company-owned stores carry off-menu items such as the "Gibraltar", a form of cortado.
In January 2014, Blue Bottle raised $25.75 million in new round of funding.
Since its inception, the company has raised $120 million from investors.
In February 2015, Blue Bottle Coffee opened its first location in Kiyosumi, Tokyo, Japan
In September 2017, Nestle S.A., the world's largest food and drinks company, acquired a majority stake of Blue Bottle. While the deal's financial details were not disclosed, the Financial Times reported "Nestle is understood to be paying up to $500m for the 68 per cent stake in Blue Bottle". Blue Bottle expected to increase sales by 70% in 2017.
In May 2019, Blue Bottle Coffee opened its first location in Seoul, South Korea.
In December 2019, Blue Bottle Coffee announced they would test eliminating disposable cups at some of their shops in an effort to increase sustainability efforts, with the goal being zero waste within one year.
In April 2020, Blue Bottle Coffee opened its first location in Central, Hong Kong. Amid COVID-19, the cafe opened from 8am to 5pm daily for takeaway only.
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