James Freeman, the founder of Blue Bottle Coffee (website | reviews ), announced that the company will be closing its wholesale business. The company we will wind down their wholesale division in the coming months to concentrate on Blue Bottle’s retail cafés and Blue Bottle at Home.
On the company’s blog, Freeman shared a personal story that contributed to the difficult decision. “On a visit to Los Angeles a couple years ago,” he said, “I had an excellent coffee at a café owned by one of the major local roaster/retailers. This roaster is known for their excellent wholesale department, as well as several well-executed cafes. As I walked across the street to my car, I strolled past a gelateria serving that roaster’s coffee. The gelateria had a sandwich board on the sidewalk describing how proud they were to serve that roaster’s coffee. Except for one thing: they spelled the roaster’s name wrong.”
Freeman continued, “To me, it is symbolic of the difficulties that are inherent in selling coffee wholesale. I get nervous when we can’t control the contexts, methods, and outcomes that are part of the experience of drinking our coffee. Because of that, I have decided to close the wholesale division of Blue Bottle Coffee.”