Peet’s Coffee was founded by Alfred Peet in Berkeley, California in 1966, and is not considered the “grandfather of the American gourmet coffee movement.” Alfred Peet was born in the Netherlands and when he moved to San Francisco, he was disgusted by American coffee and set out to make a change with Peet’s Coffee.
Founder of Starbucks Jerry Baldwin began his career working at Peet’s, then left to found Starbucks and sourced all of his coffee beans from Peet. When Peet’s Coffee was up for sale in 1984, Baldwin bought Peet’s and later sold Starbucks to the current CEO, Howard Schultz. This led to a 5-year non-compete agreement on Peet’s home turf in the Bay Area between Peet’s and Starbucks, but upon the deal’s expiration, Schultz opened a Starbucks next door to Peet’s in San Francisco. Both shops are still doing well.
A German conglomerate bought Peet’s for almost $1 billion in 2012.
Peet’s Coffee’s brand is emphasizing its use of only the highest quality beans, deep-roasting them in small batches, and then shipping them within 24 hours to its retail stores and mail order customers to ensure freshness. They advertise coffee that is “full, rich and complex.”
Peet’s Coffee is sold in over 14,000 grocery stores across the United States.