Industry Source “Total Dick” Speaks To...

Industry Source “Total Dick” Speaks To The Willamette Week

Just breaking on the Wilamette Week: A secret, highly-respected source has stepped forward to bring stunning, surely-everyone’s-business insider information to the public regarding Stumptown’s relationship with TSG. To protect the name of this anonymous, respected source – and so as to not give him any unwanted publicity, the sort a tremulous, tantrum-struck child might seek – we’ll refer to him by a pseudonym throughout the excerpt:

“Alex Panos looked me in the eye and said he purchased 90 percent of Stumptown from Duane Sorenson and planned to then fund a big expansion,” <Total Dick> told WW.

Panos didn’t mention how much his firm paid for its stake in Stumptown.

Panos has not responded to calls from WW seeking an interview.

According to <Total Dick>, Panos said his firm hoped to merge Stumptown with other coffee companies. Panos proposed that La Colombe join in, <Total Dick> says. And he says Panos asked <Total Dick> if he might reach out to other specialty coffee companies, such as Chicago-based Intelligentsia, Blue Bottle, which is based in San Francisco; and Counter Culture, from Durham, North Carolina.

<Total Dick> said his company had one more meeting with TSG officials on May 18, and that because of a confidentially agreement, he could not discuss details. But it was clear to him that Stumptown was no longer locally owned and was under the control of TSG.

<Total Dick> also told WW he was not interested in merging or being part of a deal with TSG and Stumptown.

Sorry, <Total Dick>, “Deep Throat” was already taken. Read the full thing here at WW and get ready for more of this throughout the week.


  1. Taylor

    7 June

    All this gossip is useless. It’s just whining. On both sides. This is the problem with a certain type of specialty coffee people, or with early-timers of any product that starts out as specialty/niche/etc then suddenly gets popular. The originals get all pissed off that they’re not the only cool kids in town anymore since somehow (oh, how!?) the masses caught on and decided that they like good coffee too.

    All this means is that we folk of specialty coffee did something right and we promoted our product and way of doing things to the larger community. Isn’t that what we have been trying to do all along – to get better coffee to more people, change coffee drinking habits, etc? Well specialty coffee can’t continue growing without an injection of capital. If you want specialty coffee (high quality coffee, good prices paid to farmers) to continue growing at its current rate then the money to support the growth needs to come from somewhere. Mom and pop roasteries cannot on their own get better coffee into national supermarkets and into more homes of people who currently drink crap coffee that hurts the people who grow it and the earth it is grown on. Idiots complaining that investor money will ruin specialty coffee are simply advocating slow growth (i.e. keep it to themselves, don’t let middle American join in), and worst of all advocating snail’s-pace income growth for farmers whose only current goal is to sell more coffee at a better price so that they can feed their families and send their kids to school.

    Sure, some products will get watered down with investment like this, but if you feel that way then it’s your choice – just go and make iced coffee at home instead of buying the new stumptown-in-a-can. It’s not the end of the world.

    In one important way Todd and Duane seem to be quite similar so I’m baffled by Todd’s issue with this whole thing anyway. They have different financial plans, but both guys could fit into Todd’s description of somebody “trying to make a difference in the community, in coffee and at source.” Sure those two have attitudes that many are right to take issue with, but all this chatter is bullsh*t. It’s just people trying to push their own agendas and keep the good stuff to themselves.

  2. Todd. I’m going to pass on commenting on this snowball of gossip. Sorry Zach and Jordan… (however I think you are NAILING your mission statement of news and frothy gossip on this one.)

    I enjoyed your Haiti video and bought a bag online. I hope some how the press you seem to generate, good and bad translate to drawing continued attention to a place that so desperately needs it. Perhaps you can do a follow up video and trip involving others in the coffee community and somehow help coffee producers in Haiti better help them selves with improved quality, infrastructure and logistics. Perhaps Duane will come along and show his support – Edwin

    p.s. To-“you people make me laugh” – interesting insight. Use you’re real name to give it some credibility.

    • Thanks, and I will for sure do more videos at origin. Im looking forward to doing a few more in Haiti too, hoping a few other roasters might want to get involved, particularly on the “coyote” situation, and the dryers and water wells we’re installing. I still have 8 sources to get through, including Angola, and new one for me. Thanks again. Sorry if Ive been an arse.

  3. you people make me laugh

    6 June

    Anyone who believes that Stumptown will get “better” for anyone but the Shareholders has no business being in coffee or the beverage sector. Stumptown will suck hard in the future and Stubbies will be in every gas station from here to China by the end of it. And it will suck. If you don’t already know this you are doomed throw in the towell now! Find another career LEAVE COFFEE ALONE. Duane is receiving big $ to hang around and lie to the customers, will be gone or dead soon as will Stumptown Wholesale to anybody but Walmart and other big chains. This is how THEY DO. Face it kids, Stumptown is the New Starbucks (SB Light), Stumptown was never very good to begin with, and DS screwed over nearly every grower he ever bought coffee from. Just ask them. If nothing else, Stumptown’s sell out to big bev tells us one thing for sure: STUMPTOWN WAS NOT PROFITABLE. Like brave Todd we too are looking forward to the return of Specialty coffee to us Coffee guys. You coffee posers hate because you know it’s all over for you and you too are NOT PROFITABLE. In about a minute you haters and the sheep who support you will move on to something else and forget about coffee, this is really what’s best for all of us, especially coffee farmers. Take a lesson from your idol Duane, get out while you still can kids, La Colombe is the one going to be the big winner in all this, watch and learn from a master. Dick or not (not), TC knows more about coffee than you do.

  4. People of Sprudge,

    Man, the thing hurts. In two pieces of some 25 for Esquire I criticised “Hipster Extremism” in our industry, not the advancements or the real work most of us do, or all the killer things I love about what we do and who we are. Yes, I did not handle the blow back very well, and sure, I may be the black sheep of the family, but ?

    Before, I would struck back with some cheeky immature stuff, but Im so tired, feeling like Don Q. here. Make a little room for a good hard working guy who is actually trying to make a difference in the community, in coffee and at source.

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