|Founder||Alfred Peet (1920–2007)|
|Kenneth "Casey" Keller, CEO|
Doug Welsh, Roastmaster
|Products||Coffee beans, coffee beverages, teas, and food|
|Revenue||$800M (FY 2016)|
Number of employees
|Parent||JAB Holding Company|
|Subsidiaries||Stumptown Coffee Roasters|
Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea
Mighty Leaf Tea
Peet's Coffee is a San Francisco Bay Area-based specialty coffee roaster and retailer. Founded in 1966 by Alfred Peet in Berkeley, California, Peet's introduced the United States to its darker roasted Arabica coffee in blends including French Roast and grades appropriate for espresso drinks. Peet's offers freshly roasted beans, brewed coffee and espresso beverages, as well as bottled cold brew. In 2007, Peet's opened the first LEED Gold Certified roastery in the United States. Peet’s coffee is sold in over 14,000 grocery stores across the United States.
Alfred Peet grew up in the Netherlands, where his father owned and operated a coffee wholesale and coffee bean grindery. Peet trained with his father to roast and grind coffee. In 1938, at the age of 18, he moved to London to work for a coffee and tea company. He also spent time in New Zealand and Indonesia before moving to San Francisco in 1955 where he worked for a coffee and tea importer.
In 1966, Peet opened the first "Peet's Coffee, Tea & Spices" in Berkeley, California on Vine Street near the University of California, Berkeley campus. It originally sold coffee beans, not cups of coffee. His coffee beans were hand-roasted in small batches. The company grew to four locations and became known as "Peet's Coffee and Tea." Peet wanted to bring better coffee to the American market and became known as "the godfather of gourmet coffee in the U.S." The original location at Vine and Walnut remains open.
Peet sold his business to Sal Bonavita in 1979, but remained working with the company as a coffee buyer and consultant until 1983. In 1984, Jerry Baldwin, a Starbucks founder, bought Peet's four locations from Sal Bonavita. In 1987, Baldwin and his Starbucks co-investors sold Starbucks to focus on Peet's. Howard Schultz, Starbucks' new owner, entered into a four-year non-compete agreement in the Bay Area.
In 2001, the company was incorporated as Peet's Coffee and Tea Company and had its initial public offering. The company was listed on the Nasdaq under the symbol PEET, and 3.3 million shares were sold at $8 a share. Shares climbed to $9.38 and the company raised $26.4 million.
In 2012, Peet's was taken private when it was acquired by Joh. A Benckiser, a German investment group, for $977.6 million, or $73.50 per share. At that time, the acquisition was one of the largest prices paid for a Berkeley-founded company. JAB Holding (Joh. A Benckiser) also owns minority stakes in the consumer products companies Reckitt Benckiser, Coty, Inc. and control of luxury brands Bally, Belstaff and Jimmy Choo. JAB Holding later acquired a portion of Caribou Coffee.
In August 2014, Peet's acquired Mighty Leaf Tea, a specialty tea brand based in the Bay Area, in partnership with Next World Group. It was announced in October 2015 that Stumptown Coffee Roasters would become a wholly owned subsidiary of Peet's. Later that same month, Peet's announced that it was acquiring a majority stake in Chicago-based Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea.
In December 2016, Peet's announced that it was building a second roaster in Suffolk, Virginia. The 175,000-square-foot facility will cost $58 million and was set to open in 2018. At that time, the Alameda roaster was producing approximately 1 million pounds of coffee each week.
Peet's opened its first location in Shanghai, China, in October 2017.
By 2018, Peet's operates over 200 retail locations in 11 states: California, Washington DC, Virginia, Tennessee, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts and Maryland, and has expanded to China opening a location in Shanghai.
Peet's formerly operated in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan, but Peet's shuttered these stores in 2014 to focus on the areas it's growing in.
By December 2016, Peet's coffee was sold in 14,000 grocery stores, universities, and wholesalers across the United States. They had over a dozen coffeebar locations in Chicago and Boston as well as 23 in the Washington D.C. area at that time.
Peet's has outlets at many transit centers, including several airports such as William P. Hobby Airport, George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Reno-Tahoe International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport, Philadelphia International Airport, Sacramento International Airport, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Hollywood Burbank Airport, and all three major airports in the San Francisco Bay Area.
In 2003, the first full-service Peet's coffeebar on a university campus was opened within the Clark Center building at Stanford University. Peet's coffee is also currently served at all Stanford dining locations. In 2005, UC Berkeley opened its own Peet's franchise on campus in Dwinelle Hall and as a campus restaurant near its existing dining area. Similarly in 2009, coffeebars opened at the UW–Madison's Memorial Union, Villanova University and UC San Diego.
Peet's donated $250,000 to the University of California, Davis to launch Coffee Center, a research hub dedicated to a multidisciplinary study of coffee, in September 2016. UC Davis is the first university in the world to dedicate a rigorous academic focus to post-harvest coffee. The program worked with the Specialty Coffee Association of America to get prospective graduates access to grants and fellowships. In April 2017, Peet's signed an agreement with UC Berkeley's University Partnership Program to help fund student programs including student travel grants, scholarships and paid internship opportunities.
In September 2015, Peet's announced that it was adding all-day breakfast options to its menu. The change would be implemented in the Chicago market, and eventually, would be added at all locations.
Peet's Coffee started formulating the blend in 2014 and first added it to its coffeebar menu in summer 2015. In July 2016, Peet's released a complimentary line of bottled cold brew coffee to 400 locations in the San Francisco area including Peet's coffeebars and grocery stores. Peet's coldbrew was initially offered in three flavors: Baridi Black, Coffee au Lait, and Dark Chocolate. Almond Milk was added to the line of bottled cold brew in May 2017.
In December 2016, Peet’s added a Slow Bar to its newest D.C. coffeebar, featuring French press, pour-over and siphon brewing methods.
When the three founders of Starbucks were looking to start their company, they contacted Peet, who "became like a father mentor" to them. He allowed the three young men to copy the layout of his store and shared his suppliers.
Peet's was one of the first coffee bean and brewed coffee retailers to offer specialty grade coffee, and to roast the beans longer, producing a liquor that is darker, more bitter, with less of the sour taste of the coffees offered in the US at the time. They are viewed as one of the founding businesses in the gourmet coffee trade.
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