The Bay Area’s Blue Bottle Coffee, which expanded to New York two years ago and this year opened a location at Rockefeller Center, just got another $20 million in a new funding round, Wired reports. The company currently has ten locations around S.F. and NYC, but this latest chunk of change points to a further expansion into other major cities. And, as Wired points out, following on the recent “selling out” of Portland’s Stumptown Roasters, this investment in Blue Bottle “validates a high-end ‘third wave’ roasting movement, at least among big-money investors.” In other words, Wall Street sees the next Starbucks coming down the pike, and it’s coming in the form of these boutique roasters.
Wired quotes Chris Tacy, a former Stumptown barista turned start-up marketing guy, who says that Blue Bottle’s newfound capital and impending expansion won’t hurt their brand the way it did Stumptown’s because they’ve positioned themselves a bit below the highest of high-end coffee snobbery, and “coffee that’s $27 a pound green, Blue Bottle’s not even going to look at it.”
Next up in possible S.F. exports in the coffee sphere may be Sightglass, who many locals and chefs have already declared superior to Blue Bottle, Four Barrel, Ritual, and the like. Twitter and Square co-founder Jack Dorsey was Sightglass’s first investor, and he insists, “I do think they could be big!”