La Colombe Coffee Roasters

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La Colombe Coffee Roasters
FounderJP Iberti
Todd Carmichael
HeadquartersPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Key people
Hamdi Ulukaya

La Colombe Coffee Roasters (originally La Colombe Torrefaction) is a US coffee roaster and retailer headquartered in Philadelphia. The company currently has cafés in Philadelphia, New York, Washington, Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles.[1][2][3] La Colombe is representative of roasters that originated in the third wave of coffee, and was one of the early pioneers of direct trade coffee sourcing.[4]


La Colombe was founded by Todd Carmichael and JP Iberti in 1994, with its first location near Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia. In 2015, Chobani founder Hamdi Ulukaya purchased a share of the company. Ulukaya bought out private equity firm Goode Partners to gain his stake, and helped the company raise $28.5 million to help fund plans for expansion.[5][6]

La Colombe was one of several small-scale coffee roasters that either received large investments or were acquired outright in 2015.[7][8] The company continues to expand with cafes in cities with existing locations, such as Washington, D.C., as well as in new cities, including Boston, La Jolla and Los Angeles. As of 2019, La Colombe owns and operates 30 cafes, all in the US.[9][10][11]

Products and collaborations[edit]

La Colombe's store in Fishtown, Philadelphia


In 2016, the company began offering a canned version of the Draft Latte, a cold-pressed espresso and frothed milk latte first offered on tap in their cafes. The beverages are available for purchase at select retailers throughout the United States, as well as at all La Colombe cafes.[12][13] Draft Lattes are produced at La Colombe's manufacturing facility in Norton Shores, Michigan. The cans for the latte were designed by La Colombe CEO Todd Carmichael, and produced by Philadelphia-based Crown Holdings.[14] The Draft Latte is produced in multiple flavors in addition to the coffee-forward Original and Triple, including Vanilla, Mocha. Dairy-free options include oatmilk, oatmilk caramel, oatmilk vanilla, Coconut, and Coconut Mocha. Seasonal flavors such as Peppermint Mocha, Pumpkin Spice, and Honeysuckle were also available.[15][16]

Other products include Different Drum, a coffee-infused rum, produced on a micro-distillery located in its Fishtown, Philadelphia, cafe, and a line of La Colombe single-origin and blended roasted coffees, which are available for purchase in retail stores or via the company's website.[17][18]

Haiti Coffee Academy[edit]

In 2013, La Colombe worked with the Clinton Foundation to found the Haiti Coffee Academy. The organization aims to improve coffee growers’ livelihoods in Haiti through training programs for smallholder farmers, a demonstration farm and nursery, and efforts to strengthen the supply chain for both local and export markets for Haitian coffee.[19]

Other collaborations[edit]

La Colombe collaborated with Yards Brewing Company, another Philadelphia-area company, in 2016 to produce a coffee stout to be served in local Shake Shack branches.[20]

The company collaborated in 2016 with the Icelandic brewer Einstök and again with Yards on Snorri's Awakening, a coffee pale ale.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wilder, Charlotte (4 February 2016). "This artisanal chain of coffee roasters will open a Boston location in the spring". Retrieved 11 February 2016.
  2. ^ Hatic, Dana (2 February 2016). "La Colombe Locks Down Boston Location". Eater. Retrieved 11 February 2016.
  3. ^ LaBan, Craig (3 December 2014). "Creative cafes pour it on in Philadelphia's new coffee wave". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 11 February 2016.
  4. ^ "Goodwill – La Colombe Coffee Roasters". Retrieved 2019-08-15.
  5. ^ Strom, Stephanie (9 August 2015). "Chobani's Founder Sees Opportunity in a Coffee Insurgent". The New York Times. Retrieved 2019-08-15.
  6. ^ Tanenbaum, Michael (20 February 2016). "La Colombe headed to Boston, launching canned Draft Latte". Philly Voice. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  7. ^ Rainey, Clint (7 January 2015). "Small Coffee Goes Venti". Bloomberg. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  8. ^ Hilario, Kenneth (25 September 2015). "Philadelphia's La Colombe expanding to new states". Philadelphia Business Journal. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  9. ^ Elliott, Fairley (16 February 2016). "La Colombe Plots Massive LA Coffee Expansion With at Least Two New Locations". Eater. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  10. ^ Hatic, Dana (28 September 2015). "Philadelphia-Based Coffee Chain La Colombe to Open Boston Location". Eater (Vox Media). Retrieved 2019-08-15.
  11. ^ Tishgart, Sierra (12 August 2015). "Can Chobani's Founder Help La Colombe Become the Next Coffee Megachain?". Grub Street. Retrieved 2019-08-15.
  12. ^ Schulte, Erin (2019-08-15). "The Aha Moments Behind La Colombe's Latte Innovation". Fast Company. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  13. ^ Amorosi, A. D. (10 March 2016). "Coffee in a can". Metro. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  14. ^ Torres, Rob (22 February 2016). "The science behind La Colombe's new draft latte in a can". Philly. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  15. ^ Music, Carla Lalli. "La Colombe Draft Lattes Are So Frothy and I'm So Happy". Bon Appetit. Retrieved 2018-01-14.
  16. ^ Yagoda, Maria (27 April 2018). "La Colombe's New Honeysuckle Draft Latte Is the Only Good Spring Gimmick". Food and Wine. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  17. ^ "Coffee – La Colombe Coffee Roasters". Retrieved 2019-08-15.
  18. ^ Retrieved 21 January 2017. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  19. ^ "About – Haiti Coffee Academy". Retrieved 2019-08-15.
  20. ^ LaBan, Craig (7 January 2016). "Shake Shack, La Colombe and Yards collaborate on a fundraiser coffee stout". Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  21. ^ "Yards / Einstök Snorri's Awakening". RateBeer. Retrieved 2019-08-15.

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