Peet’s to Acquire Intelligentsia

Peet’s Coffee & Tea is set to acquire a majority stake in Intelligentsia Coffee Roasters

Peet's to acquire Intelligentsia
The original Intelligentsia store in Chicago. Photo courtesy of Intelligentsia.

Following the recent news about the longtime Bay-area coffee roaster, Peet’s, buying a majority share of Portland, Ore.-based roaster, Stumptown Coffee, the company has continued its consolidation of premier third-wave roasters, this time by buying a majority share of Chicago-based Intelligentsia Coffee. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

From the press release distributed this morning:

Intelligentsia will continue to operate independently and have full access to Peet’s resources and scale. Intelligentsia co-founders Doug Zell and Emily Mange as well as co-owner Geoff Watts will retain a significant stake in the business and stay actively involved in the company’s operations. Peet’s will continue to pursue its growth strategy across its retail cafes, wholesale and grocery. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

œWe’re excited to welcome Intelligentsia to the Peet’s family as the growth of the super-premium coffee market continues to explode in the U.S.,  said Dave Burwick, president and CEO of Peet’s Coffee & Tea. œIt’s driven by 18-34 year-olds who are more affluent, purchase premium brands from other categories like craft beer and pressed juice, and seek variety and new experiences. To capture more than our fair share of this market, it’s important that we offer differentiated craft coffee brands with unique propositions and appeal. Peet’s and Intelligentsia, along with Stumptown, which we recently signed an agreement to acquire, are highly complementary brands and businesses that collectively satisfy the desires of the new coffee connoisseur. 

Intelligentsia, founded in 1995 by Doug Zell and Emily Mange, is a super-premium coffee roaster and innovative retailer based in Chicago with roasting operations in Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco. With 10 coffee bars across Chicago, Los Angeles and New York, Intelligentsia is known for its Direct Trade coffees, culinary coffee experiences and education.

œIntelligentsia is built on the vision of creating a remarkable coffee experience,” said Doug Zell, founder of Intelligentsia Coffee. “Each step of the process is considered and is as important as the step that preceded it. It begins at the source, working alongside the best producers in the world, moves through our thoughtful coffee roasting and quality assurance, and lands in the hands of the most well trained and skilled baristas that deliver our carefully crafted coffee to our customers. Also, Peet’s respects our vision and shares our same values. Emily and I both spent many years in the Bay Area and watched first-hand as Peet’s scaled their business while staying committed to their quality and craft. Peet’s is where I started my career in coffee and I’m delighted to be working with them again. 

Peet’s, Intelligentsia, and Stumptown have a number of the world’s most renowned coffee experts and pioneers in Doug Welsh (Peet’s), Doug Zell (Intelligentsia), Geoff Watts (Intelligentsia) and Duane Sorenson (Stumptown). œThere are no individuals in the world who know more about coffee sourcing, roasting, trends or the coffee consumer than our team, and we are thrilled to have them help guide our growth in the years ahead,  added Burwick.

Certainly it’s an interesting time to be in specialty coffee. Hopefully the acquisition of Intelligentsia and Stumptown by Peet’s allows continued growth in the industry and expands the reach of specialty coffee into more areas.

About baristamagazine 1790 Articles
Barista Magazine is the leading trade magazine in the world for the professional coffee community.