|When people think of Berkeley's innovations in specialty food, two things come to mind: the birthplace of "California" cuisine and Peet's Coffee & Tea.
Known as the "grandfather of specialty coffee," Peet's Coffee & Tea has been a Berkeley institution since we started more than thirty-five years ago.
Alfred Peet opened the first Peet's store in 1966 - with a roasting machine on the premises - at the corner of Walnut and Vine in Berkeley, a few blocks from the University of California. Mr. Peet grew up in the family's coffee and tea business in Alkmaar, Holland. After World War II, Peet worked in the tea trade in Indonesia. At age thirty-five, he moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and later opened his shop, roasting coffee in the distinctive style he learned from his family.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Peet's Coffee & Tea was a pioneer among other food purveyors in Berkeley's "gourmet ghetto" - a collection of European style shops and restaurants that later included the Cheese Board and Chez Panisse - whose emphasis on artisan, fresh foods spawned an American revolution.
Today, we continue to maintain the traditional values of hard work and attention to detail that is essential to creating coffees of distinction. Our Vine Street store still attracts a large, loyal following, including many who remind us they have been customers since the store opened. Our roasting facility is in Emeryville, just a few miles from our original location.
We've grown considerably since our beginnings. Berkeley is still home, but we now have stores in several other metropolitan areas. We've added new ways to sell our coffees and teas, which are available online at peets.com, through our mail order service, specialty food and grocery stores, offices, fine restaurants and hotels, in addition to our retail stores. And, no matter where you buy Peet's, we make sure that all of our coffee meets our exceptional standards for quality and freshness.
Essentially, though, we haven't changed much. We remain committed to the artisan crafts of coffee and tea and delivering the highest quality, always. And we enjoy sharing our passion for coffee and tea with you.