US Coffee Shops

Starbucks, Caribou Coffee and Tully’s Coffee are United States’ most admired and biggest coffee shops. These three companies rose above the challenge of the ever growing coffee retail industry and made a name esteemed by many coffee enthusiasts.

Let’s take a look at how the top three most famous and biggest coffee shops in the US - Starbucks, Caribou Coffee and Tully’s Coffee - began their journey to the top.


Seattle in Washington was remarkable for its fantastic coffee before World War II broke out. However in the late sixty’s the superiority of its coffee had weakened a great deal that Gordon Bowker, a Seattle magazine writer then, had to travel all the way to Vancouver just to procure his coffee there. He wanted his coffee to be dark and sumptuous, similar to what he tasted in Italy. Shortly Bowker, was making errands for two of his friends, Zev Siegl and Jerry Baldwin. When Seattle magazine closed, Bowker’s friends, Baldwin and Siegl who were both teachers, were searching new businesses too. In 1971, the three partnered together to actually build manually their first coffee shop sited in Seattle’s Pike Place Market. Each of these men raised $1,350 respectively and loans added another $5,000. They then chose the name Starbucks for the hard-hitting ’st’ tone and its reference to the coffee aficionado first mate in Moby Dick. After creating a logo with a two-tailed siren, they got started to gain further knowledge about coffee.

From its little coffee house out of Seattle, Starbucks has now 5,647 certified and 7,521 self-operated coffee stores existing, and has branches in 43 nations. As the largest store to shop for great coffee, Starbucks is recognized to be USA’s number one in coffee retailing industry and is one of the major business success stories of our time.

Caribou Coffee

The idea of Caribou Coffee dawned when new couple John and Kimberly Puckett went up the peak of Sable Mountain in Denali National Park in Alaska. The Pucketts came to a decision to develop a company to depict their feat during the mount. When the couple reached the pinnacle, they spotted a herd of caribou. Inspired by the ceaseless movement and splendor of these caribou, the couple thought it would be a suitable name for a company that later would aim for excellence and fast progress. They raised money and started planning to put together a company that would take the summit encounter into the community where clients could discover a nook to unwind each day. And in December 1992, Caribou Coffee was established with the objective of developing a top specialty retailer in the gourmet coffee industry nationwide. The company today offers gourmet coffees and pastries in 464 coffee shops situated in 18 American states. Caribou Coffee indeed has gained the reputation of being the second largest specialty coffee company in the United States.

Tully’s Coffee

In 1991, Tom Tully O’Keefe, the chairman and founder of Tully’s Coffee Corporation started to contemplate about putting up a gourmet coffee store. As the CEO of his own retail estate development company established in 1986, O’Keefe helped facilitate coffee corporations including Starbucks to get hold of business locations for their coffee stores. With his very competitive personality, he dreamt and opted to take the great challenge to compete with the coffee leader, Starbucks. O’Keefe did and he named his new coffee store Tully’s which is his Greek middle name.

Though its coffee stores are fashioned after Starbucks, Tully’s has its unique side for it offered a more temperate interior and aimed for clients who liked to imbibe over their espresso for a longer period of time. As earlier planned, Tully’s put forward to its clients the experience for European café culture. It retails traditional roasted bean coffees, coffee brews as well as pastries. After a few years, some of its branches already included al fresco seats, hearths, shoeshine stalls, outlets to plug PCs, plus business areas with newspapers. Tully’s continues to set itself apart from Starbucks by offering lighter roast coffees and by promoting directly in the neighborhood rather than in costly advertising.

O’Keefe opened his first coffee shop in 1992. Nowadays, Tully’s Coffee has 101 stores in California, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and the Pacific border. It has not outshined Starbucks, but Tully’s Coffee Corporation takes pride to be America’s third biggest company-owned specialty coffee seller.

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About The Author, Jayesh Bagde
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