Blue Bottle just raised $70M. That sounds crazy. But if I could have invested alongside, I would have.
For the same reason that I invested in Chuys, and Shake Shak. Restaurants with a great following tend to turn into great investments. Blue Bottle is doing something right when it comes to customer experience. If they are half as good at running the business as they are at making great coffee, it will get interesting. Will their model scale?
The high-end coffee shop has locations in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles and recently expanded to Tokyo. In April, Blue Bottle acquired Tartine Bakery, which has its own cult following in the Bay Area, to help expand into other markets.
The merged companies first joint outpost will be in a Brooklyn warehouse, Eater reported today.
I guess the question is whether the processes that make a single store work, can be replicated across a great number of stores. And can the processes that produce great coffee inputs into those stores be replicated at scale? Or will scale render Blue Bottle to be just a smaller version of Starbucks? Only time will tell!