Campus, Peet’s 10-year-partnership will boost student initiatives

Peet's Coffee barista handing cup of coffee to a customer

Berkeley, Calif. (April 11, 2017) — In a groundbreaking partnership announced today, the University of California, Berkeley and Peet's Coffee, founded in 1966 in Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto, have agreed on a 10-year, $8 million partnership that will support the university’s commitment to enhancing the educational experien

ce of UC Berkeley students while benefiting campus programming.

The partnership with Peet’s amplifies its long history in the local Berkeley community and its existing relationships with Cal Dining and Cal Athletics, broadening the company’s reach by reinventing

the coffee experience in current campus coffeebars, pouring Peet’s at more Cal Dining locations and including a new coffee cart outside the Recreational Sports Facility that will serve Peet’s full menu, including its new Nitro Cold Brew Coffee on tap. The partnership will also feature new programs and scholarship opportunities for students.

"Given our presence in the Berkeley community since 1966 and that our roastmaster, Doug Welsh, is a Cal alumnus, the university is in our DNA, and that relationship is extremely important to us," says Eric Lauterbach, president of the consumer division for Peet’s. "This isn’t a program that we could do for many other schools, but our roots run deep in Berkeley, and we have a unique opportunity to create a one-of-a-kind partnership in our backyard. Peet’s currently contributes to UC Berkeley programs such as Cal Athletics, work-study and internships. We are eager to build on those efforts by engaging a larger student community and continuing to offer an unparalleled customer service model."

The relationship marks the first time Peet’s has partnered broadly with a university. The hallmark of the partnership will be a program that will benefit multiple student-led campus initiatives. An example is the support of a basic needs skills academic course coordinated by the campus’s Centers for Educational Equality and Excellence that teaches personal budgeting, food preparation and wellness strategies. Peet’s support will help cover course fees and the cost of food, cooking tools and other kitchen materials.

Funding also will broaden campus education by supporting community outreach and programming to teach basic needs skills. Work-study positions provided by the funds will enable students to lead workshops in the residence halls, at University Village and across campus.

This program also will help fund the student-led Building Sustainability@Cal Program, which is focused on reducing the environmental footprint of campus buildings by helping them meet LEED requirements – a natural fit with Peet’s, as they hand roast all their beans in the nation’s first LEED Gold Certified roastery. Additionally, it will provide support for the on-campus student gardening program that benefits multiple organizations, including the UC Berkeley Food Pantry.

Other benefits of the partnership include Peet’s commitment to hire UC Berkeley graduates annually through the UC Berkeley Career Center and to provide annual need-based scholarships, paid internships across multiple disciplines and funding for graduate student travel grants through the Graduate Assembly.

"From the start, Peet’s was open to the importance of student input, the depth of our values and the complexity of the UC Berkeley campus," says Wes Adrianson, the undergraduate representative on the campus’s Coffee and Tea Working Group. "Peet’s understood that a partnership with campus was not just a business opportunity, but rather a chance to build a meaningful partnership that could support students and the whole campus."

Peet’s was selected as a UC Berkeley partner through the University Partnership Program because of the company’s overall alignment with the university’s mission and values. A total of nine coffee-tea companies participated in the request for proposal process, with Peet’s being awarded the partnership based on scoring in the following criteria: products and services, including quality, variety and pricing; sustainability and sourcing; implementation and customer service; partnership investment; community impact and reputation and UC Berkeley community impact and education.

In addition to supporting student programing, the partnership builds on Cal Dining's existing relationship with Peet's by securing a 10-year partnership for Cal Dining locations, including residential dining halls, retail locations, catering and concessions. "Students, faculty and staff are always requesting more convenient food and beverage options, and we are looking forward to raising our level of service and offering new products as part of this extended partnership," says Shawn Lapean, executive director of Cal Dining. "We are excited to build on Cal Dining’s successful relationship with Peet’s in a way that benefits a number of campus departments and the broader community."

About Peet’s Coffee

Peet's Coffee is a U.S. specialty coffee company founded by Alfred Peet in 1966 in Berkeley, California. Mr. Peet grew up in the coffee trade and moved to America from Holland after World War II. His coffee style was unlike anything Americans had ever tasted before – small batches, fresh beans and a superior quality roast that is rich and complex. Mr. Peet's influence on the artisan coffee movement inspired a new generation of coffee entrepreneurs, including the founders of Starbucks. Today, Peet’s upholds its commitment to delivering a premium product by continuing to source the world’s best beans, hand-roast in small batches and craft every beverage by hand. Peet’s asserts a strict standard of freshness to ensure optimum flavor, including a unique direct store delivery network serving over 14,000 grocery stores to personally vet the freshness date on every bag. Peet's is dedicated to growing its business through its retail, grocery and e-commerce channels while maintaining the superior quality of its coffee. Peet’s is also proud of its status as the first LEED Gold certified roastery in the United States. For more information, visit Stay connected to Peet’s: @peetscoffee on Twitter and Instagram and

About University of California, Berkeley

The University of California, Berkeley is the world’s premier public university dedicated to excellence in teaching, research and public service. This longstanding mission has led to the university's distinguished record of Nobel-level scholarship, constant innovation, a concern for the betterment of our world and the consistently high rankings of its schools and departments. The campus offers superior, high-value education for extraordinarily talented students from all walks of life, operational excellence and a commitment to the competitiveness and prosperity of California, the nation and the world. The University Partnership Program (UPP) builds meaningful, university-wide relationships with business partners by collaborating across units to create partnership opportunities that align with Berkeley’s values and mission of teaching, research and public service. For more information, visit

Media Contacts

Elizabeth Ricardo
Peet’s Coffee

Amber Hopkins
UC Partnership Programs