Portland’s beloved, once-independent coffee proprietor, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, has been purchased by Peet’s Coffee & Tea. And let’s just say that Portlanders aren’t taking it all that well.
That’s right, just days after National Coffee Day, the city’s favorite coffee son has sold out to a larger entity. To be fair, this kind of thing happens all the time. In Portland’s sunnier sister city to the south, Los Angeles, residents recently witnessed beloved local beer purveyor Golden Road Brewing get bought up by Anheuser-Busch, and downtown upstart Handsome Coffee acquired by Blue Bottle (which, to be fair, is nowhere near as big a corporate entity as Anheuser). And most anybody who’s ever been part of a start-up venture would tell you that the goal is to ultimately sell it—to finally cash in all that sweat equity for some actual cash money. But none of this is any comfort to Portland residents.
But their concern may be somewhat exaggerated. Word from Peet’s higher-ups is that they fully intend to let Stumptown—which has five cafes in Portland as well as satellite locations in Seattle, L.A., and New York—continue to operate wholly independently. We’ll see if that actually holds, but either way, at least one of Stumptown’s Portland competitors is already vying for the crown of independent legitimacy that Stumptown can longer lay claim to.
Enjoy it while it lasts, Neon Coffee. We’re sure Starbucks will come calling soon.
[via The New York Times]