From The Willamette Week, whose online food and drink column has knocked it out of the park the past 24 hours:
“Duane [Sorenson] is very much in charge of Stumptown,” the roaster’s director of operations Matt Lounsbury told WW this afternoon.
“Duane has a friend who’s invested some money into Stumptown to help us grow—to open up a couple of cafes, maybe a market,” Lounsbury said. “But he’s still very much in charge of the company. This is a time when banks aren’t giving a lot of people money and we actually reached a point where the banks wouldn’t give Stumptown any more money”.
The “friend” in question appears to be Alexander Panos, a high-ranking member of TSG Consumer Partners who is now listed as an “authorized representative” for Stumptown, according to documents filed with the Oregon Secretary of State. The Willamette Week did their job to research and contextualize this fact, and we applaud them for it – a perfect antidote to the hysteria of “Stumptown Sold Out” and “The Death Of Stumptown” writ large across the breathless dum-dum Twittersphere.
There’s one thing about which we’re certain: An influx of investment cash is going to mean exciting stuff for Stumptown in the coming months, and that’s not a bad thing for anyone…save for flailing, increasingly irrelevant roasting operations, the sort who have seen their home base (Philadelphia) experience an influx of high-quality coffee (Stumptown, etc) over the course of the last 18 months, chipping away at their market share.
Letting La Colombe write a business news / op ed hybrid about Stumptown is like allowing Pepsi Co. news coverage from some other lousy, lesser soda merchant. The kind that most people stopped caring about years ago, like Afri Cola, Surge, or the worst of them all, OK Soda.
How and why this stuff gets published by a major publication, albeit a soft-core-and-Hugo Boss major publication like Esquire, is a complete and total mindboggle.