Renowned Vancouver, British Columbia-based coffee roasting company 49th Parallel is poised to expand its boundaries, announcing a strategic partnership with the Montreal, Quebec, investment firm Claridge Inc.
Over more than 30 years, Claridge has helped grow numerous companies in the entertainment, real estate and food sectors. The firm is run by Stephen Bronfman of the Quebec billionaire Bronfman family, which once could claim to be the largest distiller in North America with its holdings in the Seagram company.
The terms of the investment have not been disclosed, but Claridge’s website says that its minority investments typically require $5 million of equity contribution, while its majority investments fall in the $15 million to $30 million range.
“At Claridge, we source inspiration from similar shifts observed in craft beer and spirits to establish a national specialty coffee leader,” Claridge Inc. President and CEO Pierre Boivin said in the announcement. “Canadians rank among the biggest coffee drinkers in the world and are thirsty for an elevated experience. 49th is the flag bearer of this movement in Canada. Despite an influx of investments in the sector, we believe the cream will ultimately rise to the top.”
49th Parallel was founded by brothers Vince and Michael Piccolo, and has since grown to include four retail locations around Vancouver, in addition to a Burnaby roasting production headquarters.
The company maintains a “direct trade” ethos regarding sourcing, while maintaining one of the specialty coffee industry’s most thorough transparency reports, annually publishing FOB prices paid for the coffee it sources in an effort to display supply chain sustainability and corporate responsibility.
“This strategic partnership will enable us to stay true to our roots while delivering exceptional coffee and a great experience across all touch points to our customers,” the Piccolo brothers said jointly in the announcement.