It’s business as usual today at Stumptown Headquarters in Portland, Oregon. No track-suited European business investment goons or Wall Street Types milling about; the same low-key “get stuff done” vibe abounds, and the staff is busy, but not too busy to say, introduce the office Bulldog (his name is Henry) or ask about your lunch plans. This is not what it looks like when a company is being “suffocated by corporate America”, a phrase used earlier this week in an occasionally-factual, editorially-questionable piece published by Esquire. Over the past few days Stumptown leaders have spoken to the New York Times and the Willamette Week, and today Matt Lounsbury, Director of Operations for Stumptown, sat down with Sprudge.com.
On expansion plans:
Matt Lounsbury: “Anyone who knows Duane Sorenson knows that he’s always on the lookout for new projects, and one of his favorite things to do is to open up new shops. Expansion is nothing new for us, and we’ve heard criticism of it since we opened our second shop in Portland, on Belmont. For right now, is Duane physically signing leases in new markets? No. But there are 2 spaces in the works for New York.” (Editor’s Note: for more on Stumptown expansion plans, read Oliver Strand’s piece in the New York Times Diner’s Journal.)
On what new investment means for quality:
Matt Lounsbury: “Investment gives us that much more security to pay higher prices at origin, and our buying practices will get better and better even as prices rise in the market. We’ll be able to buy more high quality green coffee from around the world, and continue to strengthen our role in the lives the farmers we’re partnered with. Our roast practices won’t change; we get to be even better.”
On what this means for Portland:
Matt Lounsbury: “We will always be headquartered in Southeast Portland – this place is a part of who we are. We’ve been scouting sites for a new headquarters for a while now, and we’re still looking for the perfect place, but rest assured, it’ll be in SE. For right now, we’re in the construction phase for a cold brew bottling plant next to our original Division Street cafe, and right next door to that Duane is partnering with a former chef from Olympic Provisions to open a bar, though that won’t actually be owned by Stumptown.
Our coffee is still being roasted locally. Our relationships with local accounts here in Portland – as well as in New York, Seattle, and everywhere else – are only going to get stronger. We’re helping in a very real way to create new jobs, and some of our partners are opening up 2nd or 3rd locations, which is amazing, because every day in the paper you read about local businesses closing, the economy tanking…we’re so excited about our partnerships here in Portland. This is a huge part of what I do everyday, and we’re going to be able to do that better than we’ve ever done before. “