The fascinating history of Starbucks and Peet’s Coffee is on display today as the rumor mill has it that Starbucks is set to acquire the iconic coffee roaster.
The original founders of Starbucks acquired Peet’s in 1984 and subsequently sold Starbucks to Howard Schultz’s company, Il Giornale, in 1987. What is interesting is that Schultz started Il Giornale the year before after leaving Starbucks as a consequence of a disagreement about strategy.
This isn’t to suggest that Peet’s has somehow been in the shadow of Starbucks, in fact the stock has outperformed Starbucks in recent years as a result of the lackluster performance that Starbucks delivered as a result of their over-expansion. However, the fact remains that Starbucks is a far larger company and taking over Peet’s would close a chapter on some extended history in the world of premium coffee.