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Peet’s Coffee & Tea is buying Stumptown Coffee Roasters

Spencer Moody works on the coffee roaster at Stumptown Coffee Roasters in the Arts District in downtown Los Angeles.

Spencer Moody works on the coffee roaster at Stumptown Coffee Roasters in the Arts District in downtown Los Angeles.

(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Stumptown Coffee Roasters, the Portland, Ore.-based specialty coffee company, will be acquired by Peet’s Coffee & Tea of Emeryville, Calif.

This is, as you can imagine, fairly big news in the specialty coffee world. Peet’s Coffee & Tea was founded in 1966 by Alfred Peet in Berkeley and now has retail locations across several states in the United States. Stumptown was founded in Portland some 33 years after Peet’s, in 1999, by Duane Sorenson.

In addition to its Los Angeles cafe and roastery in the Arts District, Stumptown operates just nine other locations in Portland, Seattle and New York. Stumptown also has a strong lineup of ready-to-drink cold-brewed coffees, which you’ll find on the refrigerated shelves at your local Whole Foods.

According to a statement, Peet’s will acquire ownership of Stumptown from Stumptown’s existing shareholders, but no other specific terms of the deal were disclosed.

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The statement also notes that Stumptown will “continue to operate independently while having full access to Peet’s resources and scale.” Which means there won’t be any immediate changes to Stumptown’s L.A. operations, says Stumptown Vice President Matt Lounsbury, who sounded upbeat when reached on the phone Tuesday afternoon.

What might change is how fast Stumptown grows. Lounsbury said that the deal will allow Stumptown to “get our cold brew and coffee in more people’s hands.” There’s also the possibility of more Stumptown shops: Lounsbury says in addition to potentially expanding to other cities, they are interested in having at least a couple more spaces in Los Angeles. The relationship with Peet’s, he says, “allows us do this potentially more quickly.”

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