Local developers Ken and Byron DeFoor have lured popular coffee franchise Peet's to Chattanooga, making the new Chestnut Street shop the chain's southernmost locale.
One of the DeFoor brothers is a particularly big fan of Peet’s Coffee and thought it would be a nice complement to the developers' Westin Hotel, which is going in downtown's Gold Building and slated to be complete by summer.
The DeFoor brothers invited the owners to Chattanooga and persuaded them to locate here.
It opened in October and has been slowly picking up pace over the past few months.
General manager Alma Joy Raynor said she expects to see an exceptional increase in business once the frozen yogurt franchise Pinkberry—which will be located in the CitiPark Building on Chestnut Street—and the Westin Hotel are finished.
"We love this location," Raynor said. "When the Westin opens, we’ll be busy. It’s within walking distance and ... it’ll be packed."
Peet’s Coffee currently has 10 full-time and a few part-time employees, all of whom have all been with Peet’s since opening.
The shop offers a wide variety of coffee drinks and teas, along with salads and wraps from the Street Corner Deli and pastries from Rembrandt’s Coffee House.
"The owners like to keep everything fresh and local," Raynor said. "Everything is as natural as you can get."
For more information about Peet’s Coffee, click here.
Alfred Peet opened the first Peet’s Coffee in Berkeley, California, April 1, 1966.
Peet was born in Holland and grew up working in the coffee trade. When he moved to the U.S. after World War II, Peet was amazed at the low quality of the coffee Americans were drinking and decided to start his own business.
Peet’s Coffee was the beginning of the "coffee revolution," and by 1969, Peet’s Coffee had established a community of people who were devoted coffee drinkers, according to the company's website.
Others caught on and began their own businesses.
In 1971, two former Peet’s workers started their own shop, Starbucks, and used Peet’s coffee beans to start off with.
Alina Hunter-Grah is a contributing writer. She is also currently attending UTC, where she is the news editor for the school newspaper, The University Echo.
Updated @ 12:36 p.m. on 2/14/17 to correct a factual error: The Chattanooga location is not the only Peet's south of the Mason-Dixon Line, as originally reported.