Caribou Coffee

Caribou Coffee Company
Industry Retail Coffee and Tea
Founded 1992
Headquarters Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, U.S.
Key people
Mike Tattersfield, CEO
Number of employees
6,000+ employees.[1]
Parent Joh. A. Benckiser

Caribou Coffee Company is a specialty coffee and espresso retailer. Caribou Coffee is a Minnesota-based company (owned by German holding company JAB) that specializes in espresso beverages, their own blends of coffee, tea, sandwiches and bakery goods. There are more than 273 company-owned coffeehouses in 18 states and the District of Columbia, as well as 203 franchise locations in 10 countries.[2]


The original location, "44th and France" or Store 101, is located in Edina, Minnesota.[3]

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 Mills while John moved to Minnesota to find the first site and put together financing.[4][5][6]

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 decided 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.[4]

Arcapita was Caribou Coffee's majority shareholder. In 2002, Yusuf al-Qaradawi's involvement[7] 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 May 2013, Caribou Coffee announced plans to close 80 stores in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, Illinois and Eastern Wisconsin, with 88 others in those locations to be converted to Peet's Coffee & Tea during 2013-2014. Caribou locations would remain open in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Western Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, North Carolina, Denver, and ten international markets.[9][10]

In 2015, Caribou Coffee sued a small family owned restaurant, the Blue Caribou Cafe located in Beulah, Michigan, alleging that the small local restaurant's use of the word "caribou" would cause irreparable damage to Caribou Coffee. The litigation was covered by national news media outlets in 2016, causing public relations problems for Caribou Coffee.[11]

See also


  1. "Company Information".
  2. "Company Information".
  3. "Caribou Coffee K-Cups - Single Cup Boxes".
  4. 1 2 John Vomhof Jr., Caribou founder: Knowing when to leave the corporate world and go into business for yourself, Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal, July 5, 2013, accessed July 8, 2013.
  5. Chamis, Eleni (April 3, 2000). "A new cup o' joe". Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  6. Lambrecht, Claire (November 26, 2012). "Caribou Coffee pioneer swaps espresso for pizza". Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  7. Annual Report 2000 Archived October 17, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi: Theologian of Terror - Affiliations, Anti-Defamation League, August 1, 2005
  9. Shirlington Caribou Coffee to Become Peet’s Coffee, West End Alexandria Patch, May 7, 2013
  10. "Peet's, Caribou owner to buy former Sara Lee coffee business". Chicago Business Journal. Apr 12, 2013. Retrieved Apr 15, 2013.
  11. "German coffee company crushes American family's dream". Fox News. May 24, 2016. Retrieved May 25, 2016.

External links

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