Big coffee mergers-and-acquisitions news today as coffee blog Sprudge reports that Emeryville, California-based Peet's Coffee & Tea has inked a deal to acquire Portland, Oregon-based Stumptown Coffee Roasters. The deal will reportedly allow Stumptown to maintain its independence and Portland HQ, but to grow further throughout the country.
Stumptown owner Duane Sorenson separately confirmed the news for Eater.
As Sprudge points out, the merger with Peet's comes just four years after Stumptown received some private equity investment and began its rapid expansion. Stumptown Coffee Vice President Matt Lounsbury tells the blog, "It’s not a merger. They’re not going to fold us," and he adds, "They really want to see us continue doing what we’re doing. Peet’s is going to allow us to keep growing and doing our thing."
Stumptown, founded in 1999, operates seven coffee shops in the Pacific Northwest, with outposts in Los Angeles and New York as well, and is arguably one of the top players in what became known as the "third wave" of American coffee culture, with Starbucks and Peet's more a part of the "second wave."
The acquisition for Peet's which itself began as a specialty coffee operation in Berkeley in 1966, around the corner from Chez Panisse looks to be a way of adding a higher-end, more delicately roasted, and specifically sourced brand of coffees to its own line, perhaps to distinguish itself from the 'Bucks.
Peet's is now a nationally known powerhouse albeit one with only limited presence on the East Coast. The company has over 150 locations in California with dozens more spanning Illinois, Virginia, Massachusetts, and Washington D.C., as well as four locations in Portland and several in Washington State as well, not to mention a big mail-order business.
It remains unclear whether Peet's will start selling Stumptown products in its existing locations, but that seems to be a likely outcome as well.