Tag Archives: coffee news

Peet’s Coffee & Tea Acquires Stumptown Coffee Roasters

In their blog post from earlier this evening Stumptown Coffee Roasters wrote,

“As of this week, we have been acquired by Peet’s Coffee & Tea. We’re excited about the opportunities this will provide for us as we continue to grow.”

Stumptown goes on to explain how this acquisition will not impact their goals, or how they plan on achieving them. If anything, it appears as though Stumptown is getting a financial boost from Peet’s Coffee & Tea. In addition to the New Orleans location mentioned in the blog post, I would expect more stores to begin to show up across the U.S.

What does all this mean? Well, hopefully, not much. Except a whole lot more Stumptown.

If you hadn’t noticed, cold brew was a big craze this summer – to the point that Starbucks even cashed in on the hype. In many ways, Stumptown pioneered this coffee fad with the introduction of their squat bottles filled with cold brew in 2011. According to the NY Times article about this acquisition, this is around the time that Peet’s started to notice that Stumptown was doing something different.

My call? If anything, this is a great move for Peet’s. While they have been a mainstay in the coffee industry for decades, their image is closer to Starbucks than it is to Stumptown. Not only will this press be good for them, but the money that Stumptown brings in every summer with cold brew – along with their new stores – will make Peet’s tons of money.

Stumptown seems to be pretty solid on the idea that they are staying the same as a company. As a fan of their product, I definitely hope so.

The Coffee Guy

Dumb Starbucks is Dumb, but Illustrates a Good Point

Screen Shot 2014-02-11 at 6.45.12 PM
An instagram photo @tonx tweeted while in line

Last week the media was abuzz about a new coffee shop in LA. While the coffee itself was nothing too special, the name was provocative to say the least. “Dumb Starbucks” had a near-identical menu to the coffee giant, with one exception: the word dumb preceded every drink. And while I imagine it was silly to order a Dumb Grande Dumb Latte, I couldn’t help but chuckle. How was this legal? According to a well written FAQ available in the Dumb Store, the shop falls under a “parody art” loophole in the law. By their own claim, Dumb Starbucks isn’t a coffee shop; instead, it is a parody art gallery where the art in question is the coffee being sold.

Starbucks eventually responded, saying: “We are evaluating next steps and while we appreciate the humor, they cannot use our name, which is a protected trademark.” And, as expected, Dumb Starbucks got shut down yesterday by the LA County department of health services.

As it turns out, this was all an elaborate prank from Comedy Central’s Nathan Fielder to promote his upcoming new show, Nathan For You. While this initial stage of the joke is complete, he plans to take Dumb Starbucks to Brooklyn next. I’m hoping I can make it down there and get some live coverage of the shenanigans whenever they end up unfolding.

The attraction generated a host of media coverage, everywhere from USA Today to The Verge. A name well known to the specialty coffee community threw in his two cents as well: tonx co-founder Tony Konecny. He actually got eyes-on the store and shot the instagram photo above before tweeting:



In my view, Dumb Starbucks is pretty dumb. But they illustrate a great point: people enjoy making fun of anything too ubiquitous or too large. Perhaps the tide is turning for Starbucks and other similar coffee giants. And man, what I would give to have tonx beans available at your corner cafe.

Stay tuned for more coverage down the road.

The Coffee Guy