Yeah, both Peet's and Caribou were bought by a German PE firm. I think the plan is to convert all of the Caribou properties into Peets. Also, for those who didn't think coffee retail was a good investment, Caribou sold for $340 million.
There's a lot of growth left yet. I think areas like New York and the West Coast are pretty saturated, but there's a lot of room left to grow in the rest of the country. At the same time, there's room for brands to grow even where the industry isn't. Blue Bottle buying roasters/cafe's down in L.A. is probably just the beginning. They'll be able to buy out more independents if they want.
I dunno about the pricing, but the recap was clearly done to facilitate growth. Most of their business is retail, and they've only got about a dozen locations. I bet they are doing something like $15 million a year revenue. I'm sure their margins are really good, but that still isn't going to lead to enough cash on hand to fuel serious growth.
You are being pretty stupid here. The roasters we work with are not self-taught. They've been in the business for 30 years and run one of the bigger regional roasters. The SCAA flies our guy around to teach people about coffee. Don't talk about things you don't know. I'll agree with you that there are plenty of poseurs out there, but don't think you know anything about me or my business.