Handsome Goes Blue Bottle: How It’s All Shaking Down

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In one of the biggest pieces of coffee industry news this year, Blue Bottle Coffee acquired Handsome Coffee Roasters as well as Tonx on April 7. All companies involved are beloved in the specialty-coffee community, and we know a lot of people have been eager to know how the changes are going to happen, and when, and thanks to the awesome Diana Bianchini of Di Moda Public Relations, which handles PR for such clients as La Marzocco and Handsome Coffee Roasters, we’ve got the scoop.

Handsome Coffee Roasters will be completely transitioned into Blue Bottle's first LA cafe by the end of the summer.

Handsome Coffee Roasters will be completely transitioned into Blue Bottle’s first LA cafe by the end of the summer.

Is Handsome still Handsome?
Right now, Handsome’s coffee bar is still branded as Handsome, though coffees being served are from Tonx and Blue Bottle.

What’s the status of Michael Phillips (co-founder, Handsome Coffee Roasters) and Charlie Habegger (Director of Coffee, Handsome Coffee Roasters)?
Michael and Charlie have joined the Blue Bottle LA team. Michael is leading education, training and overall LA leadership; and Charlie will be managing the coffee program in LA for Blue Bottle.

Michael Phillips

Michael Phillips

Charlie Habegger

Charlie Habegger

What happens to Handsome’s existing staff?
All Handsome Coffee Roasters staff at the time of acquisition were offered jobs by Blue Bottle. This included an added bonus of health insurance, dental and vision care.

Upon acquiring Handsome, Blue Bottle offered jobs to all existing staff, including health benefits.

Upon acquiring Handsome, Blue Bottle offered jobs to all existing staff, including health benefits.

How can I follow Handsome on social media?
Handsome Coffee’s social media channels will be completely transitioned into Blue Bottle LA channels by August 2014. Blue Bottle LA – @bluebottlela

So is Handsome Handsome? Or is Handsome Blue Bottle?
Handsome Coffee’s coffee bar will become Blue Bottle Coffee’s first LA café in late summer 2014 (targeting August 2014). All brand identity including social media handles, blog, and eventually merchandise will be changed over to Blue Bottle Coffee completely by late summer. Handsome Coffee Roasters will be completely phased out by the end of the summer.

Blue Bottle is known for roasting a lot of organic coffee. Will it roast organic at the Handsome (soon-to-be Blue Bottle) location?
Good question. The roaster is currently applying for permitting to roast organic. This could take as long as four weeks.

Handsome Coffee deliberately didn’t offer milk and sugar and other condiments. Is that still the case?
Nope. The coffee bar now offers sugar and almond milk, along with a few Blue Bottle selections. This weekend, Blue Bottle’s famed New Orleans Iced Coffee will debut at the cafe.

We’ll keep you posted as more developments are announced.

 

About the Author

Sarah Allen is co-founder and editor of Barista Magazine, the international trade magazine for coffee professionals. A passionate advocate for baristas, quality, and the coffee community, Sarah has traveled widely to research stories, interact with readers, and present on a variety of topics affecting specialty coffee. She also loves animals, swimming, ice cream, and living in Portland, Oregon.