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Last week, Stumptown owner Duane Sorenson took pains to explain that his coffee company was not, as had been reported, controlled by a large investment firm. But some beg to differ.
Willamette Week reports that contrary to what Sorenson told Diner’s Journal last week, Stumptown has indeed been sold. The paper bases this assertion upon records and interviews with “industry officials,” one of whom confirmed that TSG, Stumptown’s new investors, now own 90 percent of the company.
That industry official is none other than Todd Carmichael, the owner of the Philly-based coffee company La Colombe Torrefaction. Last week, Carmichael wrote about the alleged sale on Esquire‘s blog, claiming that Sorenson had “sold his life’s work to the highest bidder.” He now claims that Alexander Panos, TSG’s managing director, told him that the investment firm had bought Stumptown.
And according to Diner’s Journal, TSG is apparently interested in getting its sticky little fingers into a number of indie coffee companies: In addition to La Colombe, the powers that be at Blue Bottle, Counter Culture, and Joe all confirmed they had been approached by the firm.
Nobody was willing to elaborate, but it does seem that Blue Bottle has plans to broaden its scope in New York: There’s word that the San Francisco-based company is opening a location at Rockefeller Center and also has plans for a High Line coffee cart. Just as there seems to be no end to the number of people who want to profit from coffee, there’s no shortage of people who want to drink it.