Alfred Peet brewed a better coffee in America
By David Saito-Chung
Alfred Peet was convinced that Americans would pay up for a better-tasting cup of coffee. This was back in the 1950s and ’60s — way before today’s gourmet coffee shops.
He also saw hardly anyone willing to travel the globe in search of excellent coffee beans, teach the public how premium-quality coffee should taste and explain that with coffee beans, where they’re grown matters.
So the Dutch-born expert in coffee and tea made it his mission to serve an excellent product that was priced at a premium over the marketplace yet still was affordable enough to enjoy repeatedly...
He also inspired other entrepreneurs to build bigger markets in food and beverage products.
“I always like to say that my company would not be half of what it is today if it weren’t for Peet’s,” Elana Rosenfeld, founder of Kicking Horse Coffee, told IBD.
The British Columbia-based roaster ranks No. 1 in Canada in sales of organic coffee certified as Fair Trade, referring to compensation paid to coffee bean farmers.
“They were really that first wave of bringing awareness to specialty, high-end coffee to the marketplace,” she said. “They started with their stores, educating customers and really introducing them to the idea of where coffee came from, what geographical regions there were. People didn’t just think about that. Look now. It’s crazy!”