Sip It Good

alfredo martel caribouCaribou Coffee SVP Alfredo Martel details how the Caribou spirit has infused the brand experience both in its coffee shops and on the supermarket shelf. At Caribou Coffee, we believe that we learn every day. We assimilate tools as we bring a branded experience into our stores. But we also sell packaged-goods coffee. It’s an interesting challenge to balance the coffee shop experience with what we do on a supermarket shelf.

Let’s start with our origin and identity. Our founders, Kim and John Puckett, were management consultants for Bain. Their idea was a differentiated coffee-shop experience, inspired by their love of the Northern woods. What they built, in 1992, began as a modest, one-shop operation. It was so simple. A story of lore is that every now and then their shop would run out of milk. So they would literally find the fourth person in line, give them some change, and ask them to go down the street to the grocery store and get a couple of gallons of milk. That was the beginning of a really interesting relationship between the brand and its guests. continue

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