Starbucks Coffee Company to Acquire the Coffee Equipment Company and Its Revolutionary Clover(R) Brewing System

Not sure what to think about this ... still in shock a bit. Will post more later.

Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ:SBUX) today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire The Coffee Equipment Company and its proprietary Clover(R) brewing system. The Coffee Equipment Company is a privately held coffee equipment developer and manufacturer based in Seattle, Wash. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

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Comment by Andy Atkinson on March 20, 2008 at 4:49am
Hell yeah Tim. True.
Comment by Tim Noble on March 20, 2008 at 4:21am
Alright, David, Hugh, here's a retort.
First, David, They (CoEqCo.) sold ridiculously expensive (you can't deny that they were ridiculed for their pricing) machines to the best indie shops in the business, worked bugs out of their design for the past several years, and then sold the company and ALL the machines on the market for the next year+ to Starbucks, a fast food and lifestyle chain with all the soul of pottery barn.
That is the definition of selling out. It may be some peoples' definition of capitalism, but it doesn't happen to be mine. Responsibility to your marketplace holds sway with me and people like me who are PISSED OFF. Saying that, I don't begrudge Zander for making money, I begrudge him the fact that in doing so, he removed a great product from the reach of people who did the best with them.
Hugh, you may not care for crude language, but the bX is definitely not the place for you to A.)expect to have your sensitive condition respected, and B.) dress down a fellow coffee person.
We all walk on the same streets here. Variety is sometimes unsavory, but it is the spice of life.
Now, does anyone know anyone who wants a used $35k Clover?
;>)
Comment by Hugh Mooney on March 19, 2008 at 10:17pm
Jezzzz. Is that post understandable? I guess I'm just too old and used to complete, literate sentences. I have a difficult time with gibberish. Shame on me.
Ashlind, you don't need to use crude words (read profanity) to make your point. I personally don't feel they have a place on Barista Exchange.
Comment by Dave White on March 19, 2008 at 9:45pm
I think it will be interesting to see how the coffee equipment manufacturers respond to this. There is a serious need for a "by the cup" coffee brewer the independent coffee shop can buy that someone will end up filling.
Comment by Ashlind on March 19, 2008 at 9:12pm
Starbucks girl here ( or ex starbucks of two days)

First: Independents stop with the Starbucks slander! Seriously the only thing they will never have b/c of the scale they are on is true coffee souls executing their coffee. I use my words carefully. Execution, I tried for 5 years to bring passion to DMs, 20 different managers, 30 shift leads, and over 150 other baristas. It won't ever happen b/c frankly you can't have as many employees actually care about the coffee as smaller retailers. Secondly, its about a business deal. Starbucks wants to portray to the public that they are what they were when it was just pikes place. And to believe in the propaganda I think Howard is on to something... but unfortunetly all his underlings don't get it b/c there has been a lack of education and extreme focus on other things. ( Too little to late ?)
Third, as for clovers Rock that shit out! Starbucks is gonna do the marketing work for you! Sometimes I just don't get why people hate on something just b/c its bigger than they are. Embrace the companies spending dollar and utilize your amazing baristas/ staff to execute! They can't do that. They will buy another brand of some machine and sell it after the clover... chill all enjoy your passion for coffee and forget the rest!
Comment by Hugh Mooney on March 19, 2008 at 8:51pm
Here's my take if I was a commuter and on my way to work: I'm going to roll in to whatever place is the most convenient. I could give a crap about how they brew their coffee. It's coffee, period. I'm going to stop at the place that is on my route to work.
Perhaps I'm way off base, but I don't think that's the market "specialty" shops are targeting.
Take the "No Fear" approach, treat your customers with respect, deliver a quality product and you'll live through it.
Comment by Hugh Mooney on March 19, 2008 at 8:21pm
I'm really glad to see that there's at least one person that is OK with someone else earning money. However, why would anyone care what the "amount" of the deal was? What difference does that make? And, what business is that of ours? That's between Starbucks and Clover.
Comment by Rich Westerfield on March 19, 2008 at 8:01pm
I'd feel better if I knew that the deal was for $X million, and then when Zander was asked to approve the press release and that God-awful quote, he went back to Howie and said, "Um, that'll be another million."
Comment by Hugh Mooney on March 19, 2008 at 7:30pm
What a great move by the folks at Clover. Give me the money, man, and give me lots of it. They did what they felt was right for them and I applaud that.
I take major exception, as I'm sure the Clover crew does as well, to the comments of "sellout" and the like. It's like your're saying, "Oh yes, I want to remain in poverty, money is evil."
Folks, this is capitalism at its finest. Like it or not (and I love it), the American system lives, breathes and thrives on it. It's what has made the United States of America the greatest country on this earth. And every one of us has benefitted from it. Everyone.
The independents will find their way and their niche in the marketplace. The good ones always have and always will. The whiners will loose, as always, because they don't know how to compete.
I don't buy coffee at Starbucks (unless it's the only place), don't care much for it. Never have, probably never will.
However, they are the ones that brought coffee to the limelight. Surely, we have to be somewhat greatful for that.
Like I said, I'm not a Starbucks fan, but you've got to give them credit when credit is due. They are making the moves in the marketplace they feel are necessary to retain, regain or increase their position. There is a level of responsibility to their shareholders. Wouldn't you agree?
If you're a business owner how can you honestly find fault in that?
Comment by Brian Gregory on March 19, 2008 at 7:19pm
There is certainly nothing to panic over with this. The Clover is a fantastic machine that really brings out the best in a coffee. It comes back to the coffee...how does it taste? Starbucks uses espresso machines (sort of) and drip brewers just like everyone else, but look at the product. Clover or no Clover, we can still produce a better tasting product. Wine in a box anyone?

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