In order to finance cafe and roaster expansion, as well as grocery store sales of cold coffee in stubbies, Stumptown Coffee appears to have been sold to a investment firm with track record of flipping.
The rumors first blew up on Twitter early last week, and at first it seemed like an overreaction to an outside investment. But over the weekend enough details have emerged to make this more than rumor mongering.
If you follow coffee, you'll have seen the Esquire screed and the follow up. Here's the latest at Willamette Week. Portland Food and Drink has more.
The story continues to get play in the New York Times. It is also still developing, as Stumptown has been late to confirm details.
You could see it coming of course, with the expansion to New York.
Back in 2007 Mark Pendergrast wrote a piece for Wine Spectator about Stumptown Coffee and its special relationship to the el Injerto farm in Guatemala.
Wine Spectator, of course, is a lifestyle magazine, a manual for signalling and disposable income more than a guide to either connoisseurship or geekery.
That was probably the moment Stumptown jumped the shark.
TSG Consumer Partners is said to have a 90% stake in Stumptown. Vitamin Water and Famous Amos cookies are two of the brands Stumptown will be joining. You see where it all is going.
In the past year several Salem cafes have been brewing Stumptown. It's great coffee, an important contribution to a more lively beverage scene in town. The hipster and indie cred is going to disappear. This may not matter to Salemites, who aren't much interested in hipsters or indie-anything. What will matter is the potential loss of really good coffee.
So get to Salem's Latte, Clockworks, or the Broadway Coffeeshop before it all goes away! Support your local roaster, like the Governor's Cup. Ask for good coffee, not sugary flavor delivery systems! Carpe Diem!