The Golden State native has been bought by Germany. One billion dollars. Cash.
I have a fond attachment and longtime love affair with Peet's Coffee.
Not only were they the only coffee spot where I could get a kick in the butt from Major D before starting school or after a long all-nighter during my college days. Before smaller roasters and boutiquey coffees (which I am a huge lover of) were a solid and present equation in the avid coffee consumer's eye such as myself, Peet's was the go-to spot alongside with many places that sold Illy and Mr.Espresso, as well as Grecco and Trieste.
Regardless of their company size and how rapidly they have expanded in the last few years, this West Coast company and their workers have always treated me well and I have had a sustainable good connection with numerous local baristas throughout San Francisco and California for the past decade. For example, most recently running into an old barista buddy of mine in their Santa Monica location.
Peet's was one of the pioneers of Berkeley's Gourmet Ghetto, alongside Alice Water's Chez Panisse and the Cheese Board. Known among coffee historians, Peet is labeled as "the Dutchman who taught America how to drink coffee."wiki – Alfred Peet passed away in 2007.
Peet's Coffee is also a place where I have been able to take my mother and older friends+relatives for a cup, and not have them feel somewhat technology or age uncomfortable (not until recently they have open wi-fi connections, limited to one hour I believe) and they can also avoid the random rude young barista correcting them on how to properly pronounce chemex. Classic and jazz music are often played in the background and the majority of their San Francisco stores, including one of their original 5 locations dating back to the late 1960's on Chestnut street in the Marina, are mostly not remodeled (yet), so they have somewhat of a dark, woodsy feel to them.
To this day, I often get beans from them. I do an extensive amount of consuming coffee from a majority of local roasters and small independent coffee shops, so my french press is one of the best $30USD investments I've made to date. It is also nice to recognize history in general, and recognize those who helped paved the way.
At the moment I am rather unsure of what these news will mean to the future of a Bay Area icon in the black gold industry. Will it reconnect with the company that was once its apprentice, Starbucks? The Seattle global titan seems to be interested in regaining the look and feel of the small boutique experience as it recently acquired for $100 Million San Francisco's local sweetheart chain La Boulange bakery.
Not only is the Bay Area the hottest nest of big-fish high roller companies for tech, taking for instance Facebook's recent gazillion deal with Instagram, because it obviously seems to be pretty hot with all-things gourmet as well.
Will Peet's go global next? Will one be able to get a cup of Peet's with a La Boulange sandwich+salad combo in an airport while being delayed in the near future, or the ultimate absurdity: across the street from one another.
What are your thoughts/feelings? Do you have any Peet's stories to share? Do tell.
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Here are some images of Peet's in the last few years, including the one above: one of the limited-edition gift cards I designed for them while working for a small design studio, amongst other fun projects, many coffee moons ago.
Get your Peet's coffee - donation from Peet's coffee for Bike To Work Day San Francisco, 2008.
Having coffee with Declan, my favorite coffee partner-youngster.
Met a happy blog reader. Ferry building, 2008.
Met a young blog reader, and fellow butterlap rider. 2010
on a very, very early morning before a long ride to Marin, 2009.