Continuing our coverage of The Story That Won’t Die, there’s some fascinating depth and clarity available today from Oliver Strand and The New York Times Diner’s Journal. It seems that “officials of four of the nation’s top high-end coffee companies say that TSG has also approached them, even seeking a controlling interest in at least one case”, according to Mr. Strand. Even more fascinating, “some of the conversations, these officials say, took place after TSG invested in Stumptown.”
The companies approaced include Blue Bottle, Counter Culture, Joe and La Colombe, and the list of noted roasters with ties to the Panos family and TSG may be growing – Panos Properties, a Kirkland, Washington based entity with familial ties to TSG, is invested heavily in Zoka Coffee Roasters, a fact we hinted at in our otherwise ill-fated Zokapocalypse Now coverage from May 2010.
Perhaps the most fascinating point made in the piece is this one: Investment from a group like TSG into Specialty Coffee “would have been unthinkable not long ago…[compared to] Starbucks or Peet’s Coffee and Tea or Caribou Coffee, their spread beyond a few hometown cafes is so recent that it was news when Stumptown and others began arriving in New York City just three years ago.” Mr. Strand concludes that a reputation for excellence, particularly with sourcing and roasting, is an enormous part of why outside investors could see companies like Stumptown and Counter Culture as attractive potential partners.
The Story That Won’t Die surely won’t be dying any time soon, so look forward to more coverage on the TSG / Stumptown investment in the weeks and months to come. In the meantime, has anyone else actually tried one of those Stubbies yet? They’re freaking delicious. With like, a little splash of milk? Or just straight over ice…they taste like chocolate Bosco syrup or something. We want to carbonate one, then mix it up with milk and Kosher Fox’s U-Bet to make a little SE Portland Egg Cream. Yum.