Tag Archives: Doug Zell

Peet’s Acquires Majority Stake in Chicago’s Intelligentsia Coffee

Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea. Photo by: Antonio Vernon
Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea. Photo by: Antonio Vernon

Just a few weeks after acquiring Portland-based Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Peet’s Coffee and Tea announced last Friday it had purchased a majority stake in Chicago’s Intelligentsia Coffee.

Doug Zell, founder of Intelligentsia, said he sees the move as “interesting and rewarding.”
Zell launched Intelligentsia in October 1995. Its reputation grew as a small and independent coffee company, and now has branches in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago. Peet’s says none of this will change with the acquisition, stating that Intelligentsia will “continue to operate independently.”

“Peet’s recognizes that we are special and wants to provide a canvas that will allow more of the world to see the picture we are painting,” Zell wrote in a letter Friday. “Perhaps a good analogy is we’ve been showing our artwork at a local gallery and now have an opportunity for a spot at the Louvre.”

Everything special about Intelligentsia will remain the same says Peet’s, from the farmers that they get their beans from to the unique way they get their coffee. What will change is that now Intelligentsia will have full access to Peet’s resources and scale.”