Peet’s joins the coffee scene
The first cafe sets up shop at the Sheraton Waikiki hotel
STORY SUMMARY »
Peet's Coffee & Tea opened its first store in Hawaii at the Sheraton Waikiki this week.
MCC Coffee Group struck a licensing deal with the Emeryville, Calif.-based company to open Peet's in Hawaii, according to Chipper Pastron, one of its principals.
Peet's plans to roll out about a dozen of its stores here, but is in no hurry.
Unlike Peet's on the mainland, the Waikiki Peet's will be serving breakfast sandwiches.
FULL STORY »
The first Peet's Coffee & Tea
cafe in Hawaii has opened at the Sheraton Waikiki
, with more on the way.
But MCC Coffee Group, the licensee for Peet's in Hawaii, is in no hurry to expand, according to partner Chipper Pastron.
"Like Peet's, we want to be cautious with our growth," said Pastron, a self-defined Peetnik, or avid Peet's coffee fan. "We're not just coming here to steamroll our way into the market. We want to take some time, become part of the community, and grow sensibly."
Customers have been steady at the small shop near the hotel's pool deck in its second day of business. The iced drinks and blended Freddos -- similar to a granita -- have so far been the top sellers. Peet's also sells packaged beans, fresh pastries and breakfast sandwiches.
The breakfast sandwiches, unique to Hawaii, include scrambled eggs and cheese, or scrambled eggs, avocado and cheese on a croissant or bagel. The "local boy" offers scrambled eggs and Portuguese sausage.
CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARBULLETIN.COM
Corporate Manager J.J. Kellogg, left, and owners Chipper Pastron, center, and Sal Casola have brought Peet's Coffee to Waikiki.
Pastron and his partners, Sal Casola Sr. and Sal Casola Jr., are all Peetniks who decided to approach the Emeryville, Calif.-based company about opening here. The company is typically choosy about who it issues licenses to, Pastron said.
The partners are no strangers to the restaurant business.
Pastron, whose wife is from Hawaii, and Casola Sr. have done business in Hawaii before. They opened Rose City Diner at Restaurant Row in the late 1980s, which had an eight-year run.
The partners also operate numerous restaurants in Los Angeles, Orange County and Las Vegas, including the Sixth Street Bar & Grill, Sushi Bar, Dragon Noodle Co., and Market City Caffe.
They also run Morels French Steakhouse & Bistro at the Grove in Los Angeles as well as the Palazzo in Las Vegas.
Pastron said Peet's is considering several locations, including another spot in Waikiki and a site on Kauai. Several developers have approached him about potential sites, he said. MCC Coffee is looking at opening a dozen or so Peet's in the state.
Besides a handful of independent coffee shops, Hawaii is now home to a growing market of specialty coffee retail chains, which include Honolulu Coffee Co., Starbucks Corp. and the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.
Peet's in Waikiki has hired a pastry chef and 11 employees and is looking for more baristas and counter help.
Founded in 1966 in Berkeley, Calif., by the late Alfred Peet, Peet's started out as one small coffee shop. The company went public seven years ago and now has more than 180 retail stores, mostly in California, but also in Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, Oregon and Washington.
An average, well-established Peet's store measuring 1,700 square feet does $1.3 million in sales, according to the company. The Hawaii store is about 950 square feet.
Peet's sells packaged beans through grocery stores such as Safeway, Foodland and Whole Foods Market, and has in recent years been opening more retail stores and kiosk cafes at airports and Bay Area Rapid Transit stations near San Francisco. It has nearly 7,000 grocery accounts.
In Hawaii, Peet's coffee drinks have been available at Diamond Head Market & Grill on Monsarrat Avenue, and at the Great Harvest Bread Co. downtown.