Peet’s Adds to Super-Premium Coffee Stable, Acquires Majority Stake in Intelligentsia

Just weeks after Peet’s Coffee & Tea announced that it would acquire third-wave coffee darling Stumptown Coffee Roasters, the company is making another blockbuster investment in the super-premium coffee segment.

Peet’s today announced that it has agreed to buy a majority stake in Intelligentsia Coffee, a specialty roaster and retailer with coffee bars in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York. Intelligentsia also operates roasting facilities in Chicago, San Francisco and New York and sells packaged coffee beans to retailers across the U.S.


“To capture more than our fair share of this market, it’s important that we offer differentiated craft coffee brands with unique propositions and appeal,” Peet’s CEO Dave Burwick said in the release. “Peet’s and Intelligentsia, along with Stumptown… are highly complementary brands and businesses that collectively satisfy the desires of the new coffee connoisseur.”

Similar to Peet’s deal with Stumptown, Intelligentsia will continue to operate independently, according to the release. And while the company is expect to benefit from access to Peet’s broad reach in operations and distribution, Intelligentsia co-founders Doug Zell and Emily Mange as well as co-owner Geoff Watts “will retain a significant stake in the business and stay actively involved in the company’s operations.”

While terms of the deal were not disclosed, several media outlets reported that over the past month, Intelligentsia had been looking for a buyer and seeking $100 million from a sale of the company.

News of Peet’s investment in Intelligentsia follows a whirlwind of activity in super-premium coffee. In addition to Peet’s deal to acquire Stumptown, the category has seen a $70 million infusion of capital into Blue Bottle Coffee and Chobani founder Hamdi Ulukay becoming the majority owner of La Colombe.