Woods Coffee

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Woods Coffee
Industry Restaurants
Retail coffee and tea
Founded Bender Plaza in Lynden, Washington (2002 (2002))
Headquarters Lynden, Washington
Number of locations
Area served
Whatcom County, Skagit County, British Columbia
Products Whole Bean Coffee
Made-to-order beverages
Baked goods
Frappe beverages
Number of employees
Website WoodsCoffee.com

Woods Coffee is a local coffeehouse chain based in the Pacific Northwest, with 19 coffeehouse locations; 15 locations in Whatcom County, two locations in Skagit County, one in King County, Washington State, and one in Delta, British Columbia. Woods Coffee was founded in Lynden, Washington in 2002.


Woods Coffee was established by Wes Herman in 2002.[2]

In early 2005, Woods Coffee updated their earlier customer loyalty program, one involving paper cards that were punched at the time of purchase. The new system used radio-frequency identification (RFID) embedded in plastic cards suitable for carrying in a wallet or on a keychain. The RFID system was named SpeedBean, and by 2007 when Woods Coffee operated six coffee shops, about 7,500 SpeedBean cards were in use, carried by about 40% of customers. The cards were replenished automatically with funds drawn from the customer's bank account or credit card. The system accounted for 26% of all transactions in 2007, and it was determined that customers using the RFID system spent 22% more than customers paying cash.[3]

In October 2008, the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce & Industry chose Woods Coffee as the Green Business of the Year.[4] Two months later, The Bellingham Herald in its annual awards issue announced Woods Coffee as the best local coffee.[5] The next year, the newspaper announced that the company ran the best coffee shop.[6]

In January 2011, Woods Coffee opened their own bakery and introduced a line of in-house baked goods after realizing that outsourcing the baking to other companies did not maintain the quality of non-Fair Trade goods the company regularly sold, including sandwiches and bakery products.[7]

In January 2014, Woods Coffee began serving its own in-house roasted coffee.,[8] and in April 2016, Woods Coffee opened Woods Coffee Roastery, a public roasting and tasting room, which includes a brew bar and a 300-gallon twin tank cold brew system.[9]


Woods Coffee's first coffee shop was opened near Bender Fields in Lynden, Washington.

In 2015 Woods Coffee announced that it was planning on opening up its first store in Canada,[10] and the doors opened to their Tsawwassen Springs location in Delta, BC in July 2016.[11]

Most recently, Woods Coffee opened their first location in King County, located in Bellevue Square. [12]


In 2002 Woods Coffee founder, Wes Herman, was convicted for defrauding Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance of Milwaukee. Herman plead guilty to mail fraud for taking $200,000 in disability insurance payments claiming he was unable to work while running a successful cabinetry business. [13] Herman noted his time spent in federal prison was one of Woods Coffee's biggest hurdles to overcome, "That is what could put you under. That was the most significant (challenge). It was left to my wife, family and other guidance." said Herman.[14]

In 2011 Wes Herman announced plans to create a sculpture that was to be built in front of their Flatiron location in Bellingham, Washington. The sculpture design was chosen in a community contest,[15] and was to depict a "coffee cup pouring coffee onto the sidewalk". The plan was opposed by some residents of the city primarily over environmental concerns about depicting a disposable cup and opposition to the logo on the cup. Initially, City representatives informally went along with the idea. However, a more formal investigation showed that the private property location was smaller than originally thought, and would have some difficulty being approved by the City Planning Department. " 'We had responses that were both positive and not positive, and the not positive group was very vocal,' said Herman, noting that's not what they intended when they created the design contest." Herman said that he still wants to do something to support the Arts District.[16]


  1. ^ Wynne, Ryan (January 13, 2011). "The Woods largest shop to open downtown Jan. 17". Bellingham Business Journal. 
  2. ^ "In the Shadow of Starbucks". Seattle Business Magazine. Retrieved April 12, 2011. 
  3. ^ Terry, Lisa (December 17, 2007). "The Woods Coffee brews up RFID payment-loyalty program". Nation's Restaurant News. Retrieved June 27, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Opportunity Council, Woods Coffee win chamber awards". The Bellingham Herald. October 16, 2008. Retrieved June 27, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Best coffee: The Woods Coffee". The Bellingham Herald. December 8, 2008. Retrieved June 27, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Best coffee shop: The Woods Coffee". The Bellingham Herald. December 2, 2009. Retrieved June 27, 2011. 
  7. ^ "The Woods Coffee completes bakery; begins offering own food". The Bellingham Herald. Retrieved April 12, 2011. 
  8. ^ "The Woods Coffee launches its own roasting operation". The Bellingham Herald. Retrieved June 30, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Deep Into The Woods Coffee's New Washington State Roastery". Roast Magazine. Retrieved March 29, 2016. 
  10. ^ Gallagher, Dave (November 10, 2015). "Woods Coffee to expand into Canada". Bellingham Herald. Retrieved May 19, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Woods Coffee Tsawwassen Springs Now Open". July 15, 2016. Retrieved July 15, 2016. 
  12. ^ Greenman, Margo (October 12, 2016). "Woods Coffee Now Open at Bellevue Square". 425 Magazine. Retrieved October 12, 2016. 
  13. ^ "Local News | Slaying suspect will be in court | Seattle Times Newspaper". community.seattletimes.nwsource.com. Retrieved 2016-09-10. 
  14. ^ "2012 Progress Edition". Retrieved 2016-09-10. 
  15. ^ http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2011/01/25/1834931/woods-coffee-holding-contest-to.html
  16. ^ http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2011/03/02/1894507/the-woods-coffee-scraps-plan-for.html

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