Caribou Coffee

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Caribou Coffee Company
Industry Restaurants
Retail Coffee and Tea
Retail Beverages
Founded 1992
Headquarters Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, U.S.
Key people
Mike Tattersfield, CEO
Revenue Increase $262 million USD (2009)[1]
Increase $5.14 million USD (2009)[1]
Number of employees
6,000+ employees.[1]
Parent Joh. A. Benckiser
Slogan "Life is short. Stay awake for it."

Caribou Coffee Company is a specialty coffee and espresso retailer, the second largest in the United States[2] after Starbucks. Caribou Coffee is a Minnesota based company that specializes in handcrafted espresso beverages, roasters of their own blends of coffee, tea, sandwiches and bakery goods in more than 273 company-owned coffeehouses in 18 states and the District of Columbia, as well as 203 franchise locations in 10 countries.[3]


The original location, "44th and France" or Store 101, is located in Edina, Minnesota.[4]

Caribou Coffee founder, John Puckett, was working as a management consultant for Boston-based firm Bain & Company, helping develop ideas and strategies for other companies, when he decided he wanted to become an entrepreneur. After a trip to Denali National Park in Alaska, he and his wife, Kim, decided to raise money and start a coffee company. His wife stayed with a job at General Motors while John moved to Minnesota to find the first site and put together financing.[5]

The initial concept for Caribou was a five-day-a-week schedule aimed at downtown office workers, mimicking what worked in Boston. Puckett signed a lease for the first location to be in the large Pillsbury Center office building. However, soon afterward the building's landlord decided not to sign the lease, because another of the building's retail tenants had exclusive rights to selling coffee in the building and had threatened to sue them. As a result, the financing for the store fell through because it was dependent on that specific site. Puckett opted to start looking for an available location in the suburbs, and the first Caribou Coffee shop was started in Edina, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis, in December 1992.[5] Following several years of mixed performance, the Pucketts sold their controlling interest in the company in 1998 for $120 million to Atlanta-based Crescent Capital, which has since changed its name to Arcapita.

Caribou Coffee is the second largest company-operated premium coffeehouse in the United States with more than 273* company owned stores and 127* domestic license locations in 18* states and 203* international franchise stores in 10* countries.[6] Arcapita was Caribou Coffee's majority shareholder. In 2002, Yusuf al-Qaradawi's involvement[7] with the bank led to a protest of Caribou Coffee. That same year al-Qaradawi stepped down as chairman of the bank's Sharia board.[8]

On February 28, 2010, Caribou announced a corporate-wide re-branding, and began using their new "coffee bean caribou" logo officially on March 1, 2010.[9]

In May 2013, Caribou Coffee announced plans to close 80 stores in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, Illinois and Eastern Wisconsin, with 88 others in those locations to be converted to Peet's Coffee & Tea during 2013-2014. Caribou locations would remain open in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Western Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, North Carolina, Denver, and ten international markets.[10][11] The closing and conversion process had been underway for a while beforehand, however, with news of closings beginning at least a month earlier.[12] On September 29, 2014, Einstein Noah Restaurant Group Inc., operator of Einstein Bros. Bagels and other bagel restaurants, was bought by JAB Holdings, owner of Caribou and Peets.[13]

Environmental and social policies[edit]

The Caribou Coffee uses 100% of coffee and espresso beans from Rainforest Alliance(RA) certified farms. The Caribou Coffee company work directly with these farmer. Rainforest Alliance(RA) farm focuses on wildlife protection, water and soil conservation, chemical reduction and fair wages for farmers. The Rainforest Alliance(RA) farm are located in North and South America, Africa and South East Asia.[14]

Social Responsibilities[edit]

Caribou Coffee is actively assisting Susan G. Komen® in raising awareness about breast cancer and donations to help breast cancer patients and survivors in receiving the proper treatment and support needed to overcome the road ahead of them. With the help of Caribou Coffee there was an 11% increase for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® exceeding the donation goal from the year before (Public Relations Society of America). Amy Erickson, a former Caribou Coffee employee, is the reason for the interest in helping and supporting breast cancer patients. Amy was unable to beat the battle of breast cancer so in honor of her Caribou Coffee created Amy’s Blend with a portion of the proceeds going to Susan G. Komen®, Caribou Coffee wants to get Amy’s story out.[15]

See also[edit]


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