La Colombe to expand to a city near you
Third wave coffee aficionados La Colombe have secured $28.5 million in private investments, which the company intends to use to bring more than 100 new cafes to major U.S. cities over the next five years, according to Daily Coffee News. The Philadelphia-based company already has plans to open up additional locations in Chicago, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Boston. This is a big move for the coffee connoisseurs, who have been in business since 1994. The news comes at the perfect time for founders Todd Carmichael and Jean Philippe Iberti, who are about to open La Colombe’s new corporate headquarters in Philadelphia complete with a rum distillery, tasting room, coffee lab, bakery and pastry shop. Though the duo’s success should come as no surprise, for they have always emphasized the importance of coffee in the culinary experience.
The coffee kings
La Colombe has become renowned nationwide for its bottled cold-brew coffee and devotion to quality. Those enrolled in cooking school online are probably well familiar with the dark bottles with emboldened white lettering simply labeled “pure black coffee.” This has very much been the concept of Carmichael and Iberti’s offerings – to make coffee that has a distinct taste and bold flavor.
The founders of La Colombe met in 1985 in Seattle while attending school and working in coffeehouses. The two shared a mutual passion for becoming experts in their craft and create culinary coffee. La Colombe released four coffee blends in 1994 to immediate acclaim in many restaurants across New York and Philadelphia. Two decades later, the duo have become godfathers in a growing field of the coffee elite.
“We’ve gotten to the 20-year mark,” Carmichael said of La Colombe when speaking to Daily Coffee News. “JP and I, we kind of work in five year shifts, where we say, ‘What are we going to do for the next five years?’ This time we wondered if we should take it easy or step on the gas, and we did the latter.”
La Colombe has already signed seven new leases in preparation for the mass expansion, but so far the company has not sealed a location in the Pacific Northwest. Carmichael and Iberti eventually intend to open one or two locations in Seattle where they met. This major city, along with Portland and San Francisco, is often considered some of the most elite coffee hubs in the U.S.