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Gloucester coffee startup Cometeer hits bitter stretch, cuts staff

Cometeer, a startup based in Gloucester, makes flash-frozen coffee pods.Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

Cometeer, a heavily funded coffee startup based in Gloucester, has gone through a round of layoffs as it adjusts to market conditions.

The company, which was founded in 2015, sells flash-frozen pods of high-end coffee and has raised about $100 million of venture capital. But over the past year, with the slowing economy, Cometeer has seen its order growth slow, according to reports in Forbes and Nosh. About half of the company’s 160 employees have departed since June through layoffs and attrition, the reports said.

Cometeer wouldn’t comment on the details of the layoffs but said it is now on a sustainable footing.


“Like many other companies, we had to adjust post-COVID staffing levels to match market conditions, and now, in true start-up fashion, we are committed to doing more with less,” cofounder and chief executive Matthew Roberts said in a statement to the Globe. Roberts added that the company is “comfortably profitable on nearly every box of coffee we ship.”

Roberts grew up in Beverly and attended Bentley University, where he first hatched the idea to freeze coffee to speed up his morning routine. Roberts later connected with MIT-trained engineer Doug Hoon to perfect the high-tech freezing method and found Cometeer. The company’s headquarters are located in a renovated seafood factory in Gloucester.

Cometeer’s layoffs come amidst tough times for many local tech companies, large and small. HubSpot said this week it is laying off 7 percent of its staff, or about 500 people, because of slowing demand from customers. Wayfair announced last month it was cutting 10 percent of its staff, including more than 900 people in Boston, due to falling sales. Startups including Whoop, Snyk, and Starry have also cut workers.

Aaron Pressman can be reached at Follow him @ampressman.