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Topic: Coffee pioneer Alfred Peet dies (7 msgs / 203 lines)
1) From: Paul Martin
Coffee pioneer Alfred Peet dies
George Raine, Chronicle Staff Writer
Saturday, September 1, 2007
  
Alfred Peet, a pioneer in specialty coffee who shared the stage with the Bay Area culinary stars the shaped the region's food-centric reputation, died Wednesday at his home in Ashland, Ore. He was 87.
The company he founded, Peet's Coffee & Tea Inc., has more than 150 establishments, all but 22 in California, but the first opened at Walnut and Vine streets in Berkeley in 1966, taking its place in what would become the Gourmet Ghetto.
With his emphasis on specialty coffees and unique brewing techniques, Peet, the son of a Dutch roaster, put specialty coffee on the map - and in the process influenced the founders of Starbucks.
"Up until the time he started, in 1966, basic American coffee was swill," said Jim Reynolds, roastmaster emeritus at Peet's. "His father had been a small coffee roaster in Holland before World War II, he was aware of good quality coffee, but nobody in the States was buying it," Reynolds said. "He realized Berkeley was a place where good food and good quality coffee would work."
It was the time that Chez Panisse and other fine food establishments opened and Peet introduced quality coffee that helped change the coffee-buying habits of many people.
"I like to think that he taught America how to drink dark-roasted coffee," said Narsai David, the food and wine editor of KCBS in San Francisco, who, when he opened his Narsai's Restaurant on Colusa Circle in 1972, was Peet's first commercial account.
David said Peet was not crystal clear on the commercial account concept - he preferred the retail business, in which people gave him cash for coffee, and there were times Peet was on the phone asking for payment before his statement had arrived at David's office - but the restaurateur let it pass. "He was really rigid, but his coffee was so good we did not mind," said David.
After the Walnut and Vine shop, there came a store in Menlo Park (1971), another on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland (1978) and a second in Berkeley across the street from the Claremont Hotel (1980).
In 1971, the first Starbucks store opened in Seattle's Pike Place Market, with coffee roasted by Peet's. The company's co-founders, Jerry Baldwin and Gordon Bowker, learned about roasting from Peet.
Peet sold his business in 1979 but stayed on as a coffee buyer until 1983. In 1984, Starbucks co-owner Baldwin and Reynolds, the roastmaster, with a group of investors bought Peet's four Bay Area locations. In 1987, Baldwin and Peet's owners sold the Starbucks chain to focus on Peet's, and Baldwin and Howard Schultz, Starbucks' new owner, entered into a no-compete agreement in the Bay Area. In 2001, Peet's became a public company.
Alfred Peet was born in Alkmaar, Holland, on March 10, 1920. He helped his father by cleaning his coffee-roasting machinery and doing other odd jobs. When Germany invaded the Netherlands, he was pressed into working for the Third Reich in Frankfurt. When the war ended, Peet joined Lipton, the tea company, and for a time worked in the tea business in the then-Dutch colony of Indonesia.
He immigrated to San Francisco in 1955 and took a job with coffee importer E.A. Johnson & Co. He favored high-altitude coffee from Costa Rica, Guatemala and East Africa that his father used to buy, and although there was no market for it in the area, he decided to create one.
"He went to a great deal of trouble to find only the best beans," said David. "He knew his business like nobody I ever met."
Importantly, David added, Peet introduced customers to coffee they didn't know existed.
"We would drink it and it put us in a new realm. It had complexity and richness - that's the best way to describe it," said David.
Along the way, Peet influenced younger roasters like James Freeman, owner of Blue Bottle Coffee in Oakland. "He really opened the door for the specialty-coffee industry," said Freeman, who said Peet made a radical departure from the roasting style of the day, with smaller batches, darker roasts and higher-quality coffee.
"He really showed that people in America are willing to spend a little bit more money to get a little bit better when it comes to coffee," said Freeman.
Peet is survived by a daughter and two grandchildren, but Reynolds, speaking for the family, said they are private people and did not want to be identified. Reynolds said he and others will plan a memorial service.
E-mail George Raine at grainehttp://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/09/01/BUEIRTFAV.DTLThis article appeared on page C - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle
 
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2) From: Scot Murphy
On Sep 1, 2007, at 11:17 AM, Paul Martin wrote:
<Snip>
No word on how darkly he will be cremated.
Scot "somebody had to say it" Murphy
---
"Tolerance only grows when faith loses certainty; certainty is  
murderous."
	--Will Durant

3) From: ginny
Paul:
Thanks for the post. I did not here that on the news. What a great place th=
at original store was, gosh do I remember that place...
ginny
---- Paul Martin  wrote: 
<Snip>
Bay Area culinary stars the shaped the region's food-centric reputation, di=
ed Wednesday at his home in Ashland, Ore. He was 87.
<Snip>
lishments, all but 22 in California, but the first opened at Walnut and Vin=
e streets in Berkeley in 1966, taking its place in what would become the Go=
urmet Ghetto.
<Snip>
t, the son of a Dutch roaster, put specialty coffee on the map - and in the=
 process influenced the founders of Starbucks.
<Snip>
 said Jim Reynolds, roastmaster emeritus at Peet's. "His father had been a =
small coffee roaster in Holland before World War II, he was aware of good q=
uality coffee, but nobody in the States was buying it," Reynolds said. "He =
realized Berkeley was a place where good food and good quality coffee would=
 work."
<Snip>
ed and Peet introduced quality coffee that helped change the coffee-buying =
habits of many people.
<Snip>
" said Narsai David, the food and wine editor of KCBS in San Francisco, who=
, when he opened his Narsai's Restaurant on Colusa Circle in 1972, was Peet=
's first commercial account.
<Snip>
 he preferred the retail business, in which people gave him cash for coffee=
, and there were times Peet was on the phone asking for payment before his =
statement had arrived at David's office - but the restaurateur let it pass.=
 "He was really rigid, but his coffee was so good we did not mind," said Da=
vid.
<Snip>
another on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland (1978) and a second in Berkeley acros=
s the street from the Claremont Hotel (1980).
<Snip>
 with coffee roasted by Peet's. The company's co-founders, Jerry Baldwin an=
d Gordon Bowker, learned about roasting from Peet.
<Snip>
. In 1984, Starbucks co-owner Baldwin and Reynolds, the roastmaster, with a=
 group of investors bought Peet's four Bay Area locations. In 1987, Baldwin=
 and Peet's owners sold the Starbucks chain to focus on Peet's, and Baldwin=
 and Howard Schultz, Starbucks' new owner, entered into a no-compete agreem=
ent in the Bay Area. In 2001, Peet's became a public company.
<Snip>
s father by cleaning his coffee-roasting machinery and doing other odd jobs=
. When Germany invaded the Netherlands, he was pressed into working for the=
 Third Reich in Frankfurt. When the war ended, Peet joined Lipton, the tea =
company, and for a time worked in the tea business in the then-Dutch colony=
 of Indonesia.
<Snip>
r E.A. Johnson & Co. He favored high-altitude coffee from Costa Rica, Guate=
mala and East Africa that his father used to buy, and although there was no=
 market for it in the area, he decided to create one.
<Snip>
vid. "He knew his business like nobody I ever met."
<Snip>
 know existed.
<Snip>
chness - that's the best way to describe it," said David.
<Snip>
 of Blue Bottle Coffee in Oakland. "He really opened the door for the speci=
alty-coffee industry," said Freeman, who said Peet made a radical departure=
 from the roasting style of the day, with smaller batches, darker roasts an=
d higher-quality coffee.
<Snip>
t more money to get a little bit better when it comes to coffee," said Free=
man.
<Snip>
ing for the family, said they are private people and did not want to be ide=
ntified. Reynolds said he and others will plan a memorial service.
<Snip>
Feeds | FAQ | Site Index | Contact
<Snip>
ribes) go tohttp://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings

4) From: Brian Kamnetz
Good to see you back posting, Scot.
Brian
On 9/1/07, Scot Murphy  wrote:
<Snip>

5) From: Scot Murphy
On Sep 1, 2007, at 1:42 PM, Brian Kamnetz wrote:
<Snip>
Thank you! I was gone from the list for a while. It kicked me off a  
couple of times, and the second time I decided it was okay because  
the volume was over a hundred messages a day. Combine that with my  
BBQ, gardening, and other lists, and I was swamped. But I missed the  
joint and came back. :) It's good to see I was missed!
Scot "anyone who disagrees with that can keep quiet" Murphy
---
"I look forward to a great future for America--a future in which our  
country will match its military strength with moral restraint, its  
wealth with our wisdom, its power with our purpose."
	--John F. Kennedy

6) From: Eddie Dove
Scot,
Your, and your signatures were missed!
Eddie
On 9/1/07, Scot Murphy  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Vita non est vivere sed valere vita est
Roasting Blog and Profiles for the Gene Cafehttp://southcoastcoffeeroaster.blogspot.com/

7) From: Scot Murphy
On Sep 1, 2007, at 3:25 PM, Eddie Dove wrote:
<Snip>
Crunch all you want. We'll make more. :)
Scot "also doing the Maddie Page tribute thing" Murphy
--
"It is not the brains that matter most, but that which guides them-- 
the character, the heart, generous qualities, progressive ideas."
	--Fyodor Dostoevsky


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