Blue Bottle Coffee is absorbing yet another craft-focused company with a strong existing brand, beloved San Francisco bakery Tartine. The company announced the partnership today, and Oliver Strand reported for the New York Times that the deal was finalized last week.
In the past 2.5 years, during which time it has has secured some $45 million through two investment rounds and opened numerous stores and roasteries on both the East and West U.S. coasts and in Japan, Blue Bottle has acquired Perfect Coffee, Handsome Coffee Roasters and Tonx, folding the operations of all those companies into its own and dissolving their brands (the Perfect dissolution is in progress).
According to the Blue Bottle announcement, the Tartine Bakery & Cafe brand will remain. “We don’t expect Tartine to change, rather we hope to help further their incredible work by introducing Tartine into cities where Blue Bottle already has a presence,” the company said, adding that Tartine’s existing location will continue under the same management, but will “operate with Blue Bottle’s infrastructure and service support.”
Naturally, Blue Bottle locations will begin serving Tartine baked goods, and new Tartine locations will be serving Blue Bottle Coffee. Strand reports that the deal does not apply to Tartine’s sister restaurant, Bar Tartine.
Co-owned by husband and wife baker Chad Robertson and pastry chef Elisabeth Prueitt, Tartine has been building a Blue-Bottle-like cultish following at its Mission bakery since opening in 2002. Robertson and Prueitt have reached something of a celebrity status in the baking world, penning numerous cookbooks under the Tartine name and catering to routinely long lines of loaf-seekers at Tartine’s 600 Guerrero Street bakery.
Blue Bottle says the partnership will introduce Tartine bakeries to its existing markets: Bay Area, New York, Los Angeles and Japan. A Blue Bottle/Tartine shared space is soon to open in Tokyo’s Daikanyama District.