Featuring "We Proudly Brew Caribou Coffee"
Caribou Coffee was founded in December of 1992 by Kimberly and John Puckett. The Caribou Coffee concept was created after the company's founders backpacked through Alaska. On the summit of Sable Mountain in Denali Park, they decided they wanted to build a company to capture the spirit of accomplishment they felt during the climb. They began plans to build a special company that would bring the mountain experience into local neighborhoods where customers could find a place to "escape the daily grind" each and very day. On the descent, they saw a herd of wild caribou. The beauty and incessant movement of these caribou seemed to be a fitting name for a company that aspired to both rapid growth and high quality. The company was founded with the intent of building a leading national specialty retailer in the high growth industry of gourmet coffee.
Caribou Coffee Company, Inc. is a privately held, neighborhood-based, specialty retailer of high quality coffees, teas, bakery goods, and related merchandise. The Minneapolis-based company operated 125 stores in six states at the beginning of 1999 and was estimated to be the second largest company-owned and operated coffeehouse chain. Caribou Coffee is positioned to take the leap from regional operator to national player in the rapidly growing gourmet coffee industry.
The Caribou story begins, as legend has it, with an Alaskan wilderness vacation. Kimberly and John Puckett were inspired during the trip to do something larger with their lives and consequently formulated an idea for a business of their own.
Kim and John, both graduates of Dartmouth College's school of business, gained experience in finance and marketing prior to striking out on their own. Kim worked for General Mills, Dunkin' Donuts, and the Chase Manhattan Bank, and John served as a consultant with Bain & Company and as an investment banker for Merrill Lynch Capital Markets where he specialized in mergers, acquisitions, and leveraged buyouts