HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Coffee Out& Peet's (3 msgs / 83 lines)
1) From: hlhurd
The Starbucks Peet's connection
From Peet's website
"Peet's actually once had a close connection to Starbucks: Both companies
originally had the same owners.
Starbucks Coffee Co., which was founded in 1971, purchased Peet's in 1984
from Sal Bonavita, who had purchased the company from Alfred Peet in 1979.
In 1987 the company sold the Starbucks brand and focused solely on Peet's."
Both companies are publicly held now.
Holly
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2) From: dewardh
Holly:
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originally had the same owners.
That's an "interesting" twist on words, especially the "Both companies 
originally" part.  Maybe at the time the "companies" were taken public there 
was some overlap in ownership . . . but Peet's as a *business* predates 
Starbucks, and Alfred Peet was not one of the "founders" of Starbucks.  He was 
from an East Bay family that prospered in the soap business (their flagship 
product was a lanolin based product called "Peet's Crystal Amber Soap" . . . I 
used to have, and may still have stored somewhere, a bar of it).  They sold to 
Colgate Palmolive, and Alfred Peet entertained himself with a hobby business 
(in Berkeley) importing and roasting coffee.  I bought my first Pavoni there, 
in '68 or '69.  Starbucks was started in Seattle (the first store was in the 
Pike Place Market) by three "local guys", where at least some of the product 
they sold was re-branded coffee bought from . . . Peet's.
<Snip>
from Sal Bonavita, who had purchased the company from Alfred Peet in 1979.
In 1987 the company sold the Starbucks brand and focused solely on Peet's."
Strangely I don't find the material you quote at the Peet's web site (and can't 
make much sense out of what those sentences are trying to say . . . who "sold 
the Starbucks brand", to whom?) . . . but on their "history" page there is an 
"interesting" version of Alfred Peet's "life story", and the following line:
"In 1984, Peet's director and one-time roaster Jerry Baldwin bought Peet's."
Jerry Baldwin was one of the three "originals" at Starbucks, in Seattle.  My 
wife (who worked at the original Starbucks on the wharf when it was the *only* 
Starbucks, and years later at Peet's in Berkeley) recalls him as the slightly 
overweight and pleasant, if sort of nebbishy, guy who kept the books and, when 
Starbucks "took off", lost some weight, "lost" his wife and kids, adopted a GQ 
look, "bought" a "trophy" (to replace the ex-wife), and bought Peet's so he 
wouldn't always be "the other guy from Starbucks".
Of course we must remember that different people will remember (and "tell") 
history from different perspectives, and that corporations have no "memory" at 
all (except to the extent that SEC filings "remember" for them), only 
advertising and PR flacks who will write whatever flatters the bosses and looks 
good in promotional copy (and can't be readily, and embarrassingly, 
contradicted by facts . . .).
Deward
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3) From: dewardh
Ps.  I especially gagged on :
"How Alfred Peet . . . introduced the Bay Area to specialty coffee in 1966."
How "convenient" to ignore the Italian community in North Beach, and Thos Cara 
importing and servicing espresso machines, including Pavoni (later re-sold by 
Peet's), or Graffeao Coffee Roasting Co., or all those espressos that all those 
beatniks drank in the 50's . . .
Deward
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