Oakland-based Blue Bottle Coffee has announced that it has acquired two much-lauded, L.A.-based coffee companies: Handsome Coffee Roasters the coffee roaster and cafe in the Arts District of downtown L.A., and Tonx, a roaster and coffee subscription service.
According to Blue Bottle's press release, Handsome will be transitioned into a Blue Bottle shop and production facility come summer; it will be the company's first L.A. location (a second Blue Bottle shop will open in Venice later this year, and a third in Culver City will open in early 2015). Tonx, too, will be integrated with Blue Bottle, “creating a new department entirely dedicated to software and technology.”
In the press release, Blue Bottle CEO James Freeman says these two acquisitions are “an opportunity to have immediate reach into a region that has fascinated and excited us for quite some time: Los Angeles.”]
Michael Phillips, Tyler Wells and Chris Owens co-founded Handsome Coffee Roasters and opened their roastery and shop just two years ago in the Arts District, the first of a handful of coffee roasters to open in the neighborhood (Portland's Stumptown Coffee Roasters has a roastery and shop nearby; soon, too, will Santa Cruz's Verve Coffee Roasters). Wells and Owens have since departed the company; Phillips, Blue Bottle says, “will be joining the Blue Bottle team in a development role based in Los Angeles,” and current Handsome employees “have been offered positions with Blue Bottle.”
As for Tonx, co-founder Tony Konecny is “super excited about what's coming next. We created an experience we're really proud of and think there's a potential to take it much further.” Accordingly, he's looking forward to “building a more awesome experience at every level – the opportunity to do that at Blue Bottle is the single most exciting opportunity inside the coffee industry today. And that we get to be part of that is pretty fucking awesome.”