As Tartine prepared this summer to open their Manufactory in the space adjacent to Heath Ceramics at 18th and Alabama, co-owner Elizabeth Prueitt revealed that they had hired Verve Coffee guy Chris Jordan to develop and roast a Tartine-branded line of coffee which immediately begged the question of how Blue Bottle, which had opened a kiosk in the Heath lobby a couple years back, was going to feel about this competition. It looks like we have the answer, as Blue Bottle announced to Inside Scoop this week that they're shutting down the kiosk at Heath and preparing to open a big new location in the former Jeremy's retail space at 2 South Park, in SoMa.
The space is much larger than most of Blue Bottle's SF locations, and as the Scoop reports, "The increased square footage will not only provide ample room for the coffee retailer’s food and drink menu, but it will also boast new features, including an iced coffee bar, which will serve zero-proof mixed coffee drinks (drink recipes are still in development)."
They're aiming to have the South Park location open on November 4, and coffee service will end at the Heath kiosk on October 16.
Neither company has commented to this effect, but it doesn't seem like a stretch that Tartine's foray into the coffee business is the source of a bit of tension with Blue Bottle especially since, less than a year ago, the two companies were very close to a merger. The decision not to go forward with that deal was painted as amicable, with a statement saying they'd "decided that remaining separate companies makes the most sense."
But Prueitt suggested to the Wall Street Journal in July that Tartine's goal is to create a retail coffee line with a shelf life.
And this comes just as Blue Bottle announced the launch of their Perfectly Ground line, promising "hermetically seal[ed]" pre-ground coffee in packets that tastes just as good as if it were freshly ground i.e. coffee with a shelf life. Those packets, which come in boxes of five single-servings for $17.50, are now available at Blue Bottle locations and online.
Below, the explainer.