Coffee pioneer Peet dies
August 31, 2007
• Alfred Peet was 87
• Credited with starting specialty coffee industry
Alfred Peet, coffee and tea expert and founder of Peet’s Coffee & Tea (NASDAQ: PEET), died at his home in Ashland, Ore., on Aug. 29, the company said Friday.
Mr. Peet was 87. He was born in Alkmaar, Holland, where his father ran a small coffee roastery prior to World War II.
Credited as the “grandfather of specialty coffee,” Mr. Peet opened the original Peet’s store in Berkeley in 1966 and pioneered the unique coffee roasting style “that inspired the specialty coffee revolution,” the company says.
By the time he retired in 1983, Peet’s had a cult following from coast to coast. The company says it still roasts coffee today as it did when Mr. Peet first started.
Peet’s operates about 135 coffee shops in six states. It employs more than 3,100 workers and had 2006 revenues of $210.5 million.