Update: Mergers and Acquisitions in the world of awesome specialty coffee

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about Blue Bottle Coffee’s venture capital funding and plans for growth. As I mentioned, it will certainly be interesting to see how such a niche brick-and-mortar business leverages venture funding to achieve solid growth without compromising either the quality of the product or the service. Looks like we get to see some of the answer to that question sooner than later…

On Monday, Blue Bottle Coffee announced the acquisition of two different, yet complimentary coffee companies. From Blue Bottle’s own announcement:

Why invite these two to join the family? Well, the short answer is that we’d been admiring them both from afar for quite some time. The move will serve a dual purpose: It will expedite our plans for a retail presence in Los Angeles this year (we’ve already signed two leases down there). It will also improve our digital experience by providing an in-house software team, specializing in e-commerce and focused on creating the best digital experience in coffee.

Handsome Coffee was founded in April 2011 by 2010 World Barista Champion Michael Phillips, Tyler Wells, and Chris Owens. They developed rapidly over the next couple of years, with a roastery and coffee bar in downtown Los Angeles, wholesale accounts across the country, and a vibrant and innovative brand identity. With equal emphases on quality, hospitality and community – and through a series of innovative partnerships – Handsome was instrumental in igniting a passion for specialty coffee in Southern California.

Tonx, founded in June 2011 by Nik Bauman and Tony Konecny, gained an impressive online following through its use of accessible subscription services, quality sourcing and roasting, and innovative user experience and design. The Tonx team will bring to Blue Bottle a wealth of experience in online guest services, e-commerce, design, and analytics.

Link: Blue Bottle Coffee Blog

Luckily for me, there is an awesome coffee roaster near enough to make the drive worth it. If you don’t live somewhat near a decent coffee roaster, the new subscription/delivery options provided by this acquisition are worth considering.

Also, I now have a reason to visit LA! If only Blue Bottle opened a location in San Diego…


Image of a proper macchiato (not Starbucks’ bastardization of the drink…) courtesy of Blue Bottle and Wikipedia