The original Caribou Coffee location, which opened nearly 31 years ago in Edina, Minnesota, is closing.
The Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal first reported the news yesterday, and multiple news sources have since confirmed the planned closing with the landlord of the building in the inner-ring suburb of Minneapolis.
Caribou Coffee did not respond to DCN’s request for confirmation and more information.
The closing marks the end of an era for the iconic brand, which helped lay the foundation for the specialty coffee industry as it exists today. As Caribou expanded throughout the Upper Midwest and farther afield in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the company introduced a generation of U.S. consumers to concepts such as coffee “origin” and Italian-inspired espresso-based drinks.
John and Kim Puckett opened the original Caribou Coffee at 4408 France Ave S in Edina on Dec. 14, 1992. By the time the Pucketts sold Caribou to the investment firm Arcapita for approximately $80 million in 2001, the business had grown to 100 stores and 2,000 employees, according to a 2013 Twin Cities Business report.
In 2012, the company was acquired by an investment arm of the German billionaire Reimann family umbrella company now known as JAB Holding Company. In May, JAB Holding Company folder Caribou, Einstein Bros. Bagels and Panera Breads into a conglomerate called Panera Brands while signaling a potential IPO.
As of last December, Caribou had more than 400 U.S. coffee shops, as well as 282 franchise locations abroad, with plans to open more than 300 new U.S. shops through U.S. franchising. In recent years, the company has focused on smaller store footprints, quick service and drive-through.
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