After 51 years in the roasting business while creating one of the largest coffee retail footprints in the United States, Peet’s Coffee has opened its first ever international location, a nearly 4,000-square-foot roastery and flagship cafe in Shanghai, China.
The new retail location also solidifies the formation of Peet’s Coffee China, an independently run joint venture between California-based Peet’s and the major international investment firm Hillhouse Capital Group. Peet’s Coffee has been owned by the Luxombourg-based JAB Holding Company since 2012.
“Entering China underscores how Peet’s has grown systematically since going private in 2012 as the company has delivered consistent, double-digit growth while evolving its omni-channel model comprised of several super premium brands, product formats, and geographies,” Peet’s Coffee COO Shawn Conway, who now also site on the Peet’s Coffee China board of directors, said in a company announcement yesterday. “Expanding internationally is a natural progression of our United States success and Peet’s recognizes that China is a fast-growing market with a flourishing base of coffee lovers seeking distinctive experiences.”
Following an apprentice program with Peet’s Head Roaster John Niccolini at Peet’s production headquarters in Alameda, California, roasters at the Shanghai facility will be using Probat roasting machines installed on-site to create many of the company’s blends that have been well established in the U.S. market, including Major Dickason’s, Big Bang, Espresso Forte, and others.
The company says that 12 coffees will be available at any given time, brewed within 28 days of roasting at the semi-circular bar. The retail area includes traditional espresso setups for Peet’s custom menu, as well as a “discovery bar,” where tasting flights, courses and custom cups will be led by the company’s baristas and roasters.
“We are excited to bring Peet’s wonderful tradition of premium craft coffees to China,” said said Lei Zhang, Chairman and CEO of Hillhouse Capital, which currently handles some US$30 billion in assets, primarily in Asia. “We believe Chinese consumers deserve the highest quality products and Peet’s offers this in the form of some of the best coffee in the world.”