From a chilling East Bay Express feature about the sad, stark realities of a corporatized Peet’s Coffee and Tea:

This is Peet’s Coffee & Tea, circa 2011: successful, efficient, and, many say, losing its edge and its ethos as it continues to compete in an increasingly crowded market. Once a small business known for its relaxed vibe and killer beans, Peet’s is a now a company where baristas are timed as they make drinks and dinged if they take too long; where secret shoppers watch whether employees are sticking to the corporate sales pitch; where the workforce is increasingly overworked, underpaid, burned out, and plagued by turnover.

In other news, both the CEO and CFO of Peet’s Coffee & Tea have sold a substantial amount of shares in the last weeks.