Destiny or Coincidence? My relationship with Peet’s Coffee

Some things, it seems, are just meant to be. You know what I mean: everything seems to align in an uncanny perfect way, things seem more natural than breathing, and there are too many coincidences to be, well, just coincidences. So it is between myself and Peet’s Coffee.

My love for Peet’s began back in my college years. I was fortunate to spend my undergraduate years in the thriving bastion of wild nuttiness known as Berkeley, CA - the same place where, 25 years earlier, a Dutchman named Alfred Peet decided to open the nation’s first real coffee shop.

Peet moved to the US after WWII and was reportedly appalled at the quality of coffee Americans were drinking (he must have run into church coffee). So he opened his first store on Vine Street in Berkeley with a simple, yet profound and moving mission: to raise the expectations of American coffee drinkers. Poetry, pure poetry!

It is a little-known fact that Alf, as I affectionately call him (funny, he seems like a cherished old uncle even though I never met the man), trained three young men in the art of real coffee roasting. Those three later left the business and started a little coffee joint in Seattle they named… Starbucks. No, I’m not kidding. In fact, Peet’s Coffee supplied Starbucks with its beans when Starbucks was just getting off the ground. From there Starbucks sold their collective soul to the demon of commercial enterprise, of course, but that’s a different subject. One of those founders became so disenfranchised with Starbucks that he left the business and became the CEO of Peet’s when Alf retired (he's since moved on to that great coffee field in the sky).

Anyway, Peet’s Coffee never left it’s original mission, or its dedication to simply brewing real, good, coffee. Simple. Real. Can you see why I like it so much? Basically the same reasons I love my Scout, but I digress...

Now here’s where it gets really interesting: it would appear that Peet’s loves me too. In fact, they’re following me wherever I go. Shortly after I moved to Portland I began to despair of ever finding a good source for coffee locally, so I did the only truly sensible thing I could do: I mail-ordered from Peet’s. Then, after several years of fantastic-smelling mail, Peet’s opened their first Portland store on NE Broadway, just 10 minutes from our house. When I asked them why they chose Portland, they said mail order volume was a big factor. I knew then that I had done my part.

The final proof materilized when Amy and I moved across town to Beaverton in 2006, without a Peet’s close by. Until 3 months ago, that is, when Peet’s opened a brand new store (a.k.a. “Matt’s other office”) less than a mile from the church where I work. Could life get any better?

So I ask you dear readers, is this mutual, win-win relationship not a textbook example of pure destiny? Please register your vote on my poll to the right and let me know what you think.


Amy Guerino said...

I wouldn't have believed it was destiny until Peet's opened a store so close to Harvest.

Melissa said...

well.... having spend quite a bit of time in the Netherlands recently... the Dutch take their coffee really really seriously! and they are very intelligent... so it would stand to reason that a smart Dutch company that knew there was a man who practically breathed there brew would move within walking distance from said man.


Melissa said...

there... I voted.. happy now? :-)

Mike McDaniel said...

There is no such thing as coincidence, my friend. Peets is a blessing from above!


Dan Franklin said...

Thanks for letting me know about your blog. I don't think we should keep the ten commandments (a previous post of yours). It is not just that I think we don't have to keep them. I think we should go out of our way to break them. That's my take.
Seriously, though, it will be fun to keep up with you guys this way.

Anonymous said...

I have a problem with your poll: I'm only allowed to select one. I believe that all three apply. So I voted for the underdog: Just coincidence.

Tammy B said...

What's that line from Back to the future? Marty is trying to tell his dad to say "you are my destiny" and it comes out - "You are my density!"

I feel the same way about Murchie's Empress Afternoon tea. And I have your lovely wife to thank for it! ;-)

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