Thursday, April 03, 2008

In Clover

Brew a better cup of coffee, and Starbucks will beat a path to your shed's door:
Starbucks last month announced plans to buy Coffee Equipment Co., the 11-employee company that makes Clover...[coffee makers] in an old trolley shed in Ballard [Washington]. [Inventor Zander] Nosler is thrilled.

"It's always nice to get asked to go steady, and I love not having to go ask for more investor money," he said of the deal, whose price and other terms, including a possible closing date, have been kept secret.

The machine that struck Starbucks' fancy is a single-cup brewer that costs coffee shops $11,000, about the same price as many commercial espresso machines and at least $9,000 above most high-end commercial drip-coffee machines.

In two years, Coffee Equipment has delivered fewer than 250 Clover machines to coffee shops around the world.

....Some coffee shops charge more for their Clover brew. In Manhattan, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz paid $7 for his first cup of coffee from a Clover.

"How do you do that?" Schultz jokingly asked Nosler in front of shareholders at Starbucks' annual meeting last month.

Nosler designed the Clover with two fellow engineering alumni from Stanford University, Randy Hulett and Jorah Wyer.

No comments: