Blue Bottle Coffee continues international growth with new location in South Korea

By On November 06, 2018

Blue Bottle Coffee continues international growth with new location in South Korea

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1of 5Jes Decker makes a pour over at Blue Bottle Coffee in Oakland, Calif.
2of 5Blue Bottle Coffee is headed to Seoul.
3of 5Jonathan Gonzalez roasts coffee at Blue Bottle Coffee in Oakland, Calif.
4of 5Alaicia Romero bags coffee beans at Blue Bottle Coffee in Oakland, Calif.
5of 5is headed to Seoul.

Oakland-based coffee company Blue Bottle is expanding its international footprint.

The burgeoning coffee giant announced plans to open a new location in the Seongsu neighborhood of Seoul, South Korea, sometime in 2019. It will be the first international foray for Blue Bottle since opening a cafe in Tokyo in 2015.

Korea has been an enticing market for Bay Area businesses, especially bakeries and cafes, over the last few years. Since 2015, San Francisco hits like Tartine Bakery, Mr. Holmes Bakehouse and B. Patisserie have all established roots in the country.

Outside of the appealing market landscape in South Korea, Blue Bottle’s growth can also be attributed to an influx of capital, the lifeblood of expansion. Last year, Swiss food giant Nestlé paid as much as $500 million for 68 percent of the company.

The merger turned heads in the coffee world, raising concerns that Blue Bottle was moving away from its original ethos. Nestlé generated $10.5 billion from its operations in 2016. Blue Bottle executives last year said that with the backing of Nestlé , the company would be able to develop its technology and open more domestic and international cafes and roasters.

“There are people who are worried that this will mess up the things that they love about Blue Bottle,” Blue Bottle CEO James Freeman told the Chronicle last year when addressing the public’s concerns over the merger with Nestle. “That won’t be the case. We have complete autonomy over everything. I just ask that they trust us.”

When Nestle purchased the controlling stake in Blue Bottle, the popular third wave coffee company had 35 cafes spread across Oakl and, San Francisco New York, Los Angeles, and Tokyo. More were on tap for Brooklyn, Washington D.C., Miami, and Boston.

Today, Blue Bottle has 56 cafes in the U.S. and 10 cafes in Japan.

Justin Phillips is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: jphillips@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @JustMrPhillips

Source: Google News South Korea | Netizen 24 South Korea

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