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Selling Stumptown

The blogosphere was ablaze with rumors last week that New York-based investment firm TSG Consumer Partners bought 90 percent of Stumptown Coffee Roasters, reputed leaders in the specialty coffee industry.

Initially, Stumptown owner Duane Sorenson sidestepped the rumors by saying that he received capital from a buddy. However, a paper trail led to TSG Consumer Partners, which has a history of purchasing successful companies, growing them substantially and selling them off in about five years.

Some have expressed concern that Stumptown has sold out to the highest bidder and that its product and ethics will be compromised. Sorenson insists that he is still steering the ship.

Does it matter to you whether your favorite products are locally owned? Has your experience with a product changed as its company grew?


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Nicholas Kristof

OPB | June 13, 2011