Caribou Coffee

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Caribou Coffee Company
Type Subsidiary
Industry Restaurants
Retail Coffee and Tea
Retail Beverages
Founded 1992
Headquarters Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, U.S.
Key people Mike Tattersfield, CEO
Revenue Increase $262 million USD (2009)1
Net income Increase $5.14 million USD (2009)1
Employees 6,000+ employees.1

Caribou Coffee Company is a specialty coffee and espresso retailer, the second largest in the United States2 after Starbucks. Caribou sells coffee, tea, and bakery goods in 415 company-owned coffeehouses in 40 states and the District of Columbia, as well as 126 franchise locations worldwide.3


The original location, "44th and France" or Store 101, is located in Edina, Minnesota.4

Caribou Coffee founder, John Puckett, was working as a management consultant for Boston-based firm Bain & Company, helping develop ideas and strategies for other companies, when he decided he wanted to become an entrepreneur. After a trip to Denali National Park in Alaska, he and his wife, Kim, decided to raise money and start a coffee company. His wife stayed with a job at General Motors while John moved to Minnesota to find the first site and put together financing.5

The initial concept for Caribou was a five-day-a-week schedule aimed at downtown office workers, mimicking what worked in Boston. Puckett signed a lease for the first location to be in the large Pillsbury Center office building. However, soon afterward the building's landlord decide not to sign the lease, because another of the building's retail tenants had exclusive rights to selling coffee in the building and had threatened to sue them. As a result, the financing for the store fell through because it was dependent on that specific site. Puckett opted to start looking for an available location in the suburbs, and the first Caribou Coffee shop was started in Edina, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis, in December 1992.5 Following several years of mixed performance, the Pucketts sold their controlling interest in the company in 1998 for $120 million to Atlanta-based Crescent Capital, which has since changed its name to Arcapita.

Since opening, the chain has expanded to 415 locations in 16 states and the District of Columbia,6 making it the second-largest operator of non-franchised coffeehouses in the United States, after Starbucks Corporation. This includes 24 licensed locations in the U.S. and two overseas markets. Caribou maintains its headquarters and coffee-roasting facility in the Minneapolis metropolitan area.

Arcapita was Caribou Coffee's majority shareholder. In 2002, Yusuf al-Qaradawi's involvement7 with the bank led to a protest of Caribou Coffee. That same year al-Qaradawi stepped down as chairman of the bank's Sharia board.8 In 2005, Arcapita completed an IPO of Caribou. On September 28, 2005, Caribou Coffee became a publicly traded company. In 2011, Arcapita sold their shares of Caribou Coffee.

On January 27, 2005, Caribou Coffee Company announced that it would contribute $106,000 to the Coffee Kids "Sumatra Relief Fund.".9

On February 28, 2010, Caribou announced a corporate-wide re-branding, and began using their new "coffee bean caribou" logo officially on March 1, 2010.10

On January 6th, 2014 Caribou Coffee launched their new loyalty program, Caribou Perks. The Perks program was started to boost each guest's experience. Caribou Coffee customers can now not only enjoy their regular drink every day, but also the loyalty program which offers a wide variety of rewards for the customer. The customer will need to obtain a card from any Caribou Coffee locations, the worker will start the registration process for the customer. After that the customer needs to log on to the web page for Caribou Perks and finish registering the card. The customer can use a phone number as well instead of a card. After the registration process has been completed, the customer will receive a voucher for a free medium drink. Each perk only lasts for 7 days from the time that the perk appears on the account. Throughout the whole perks program, each time the customer makes a transaction, the perks card needs to be swiped to track the card. After a customer reaches a certain level they will receive a random perk on their card to which they can use at their free will. These perks can vary from 50% off bakery items, free drinks, a complementary upgrade (pay for a small get a medium), a free add on (espresso shot or flavor shot), and many more things.


Caribou Coffee Headquarters in suburban Minneapolis

On January 20, 2005, Frontier and Caribou announced an agreement making Caribou the exclusive coffee supplier for the low-cost airline.11 On January 21, 2005, the company went to open in Denver with at least nine company-owned stores this year.12 On February 21, 2005, DeMattia Group welcome Caribou Coffee to Sheldon Center at Five Mile and Sheldon Roads in Plymouth.13 Caribou is in a partnership with the Rainforest Alliance. Caribou is planning to offer only coffees that are composed of 100% Rainforest Alliance certified beans by the end of 2011.14


In 2012, Caribou Coffee's announced its acquisition by the German company Joh. A. Benckiser for $340 million. Benckiser is a holding company which is a part holder of the consumer products company Reckitt Benckiser.

Store closings

On April 5, 2013, Caribou Coffee began the process of closing stores,15 stating that they intended to stay open only in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.16 Store managers were notified of the closings via a conference call. Over 1,000 employees were given less than 9 days notice that their stores were closing and they were losing their jobs. Eighty-eight stores will be converted to Peet's Coffee & Tea during 2013-2014.17

See also


External links

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