Blue Bottle, the San Francisco-based coffee roaster, is planning to come to Greater Boston, further solidifying the area as one of the most sought-after, up-and-coming spots for high-end specialty coffee.
Blue Bottle — which has stores in the Bay Area, New York, and Tokyo — is adding the Boston area to the mix after studying good areas for expansion.
“The coffee is getting better,” Bryan Meehan, the chief executive of Blue Bottle, said in an interview. “It’s got a rich coffee heritage. Home of Dunkin’ Donuts, that’s got to mean something.”
“When I think about Boston I think of this Mark Twain quote. In New York they ask how much are you worth, in Philadelphia, they ask who are your parents. In Boston they ask how much does he know,” he added. “Boston is an academic center where people seek out learning. And given the type of things we do with our coffee, people will be interested to know more about coffee from Blue Bottle.”
The first Blue Bottle store is slated to open next fall at 40 Bow St. in Cambridge. The coffee company is about to sign a lease for another store in the Back Bay, and is also examining other locations for further expansions in 2018.
“I think Boston could be a market where we could have as many stores as we have in the Bay Area,” Meehan said, adding that there are nearly 10 stores in that region.
Blue Bottle is one of the best known in the industry for quality, having been compared to doing for coffee what Apple has done for technology. The company is about to open a 15,000-square-foot facility in New York City, where the beans sent to Boston will be roasted and sent to be served the following day.
One meeting that helped solidify Blue Bottle’s interest in Boston came when Meehan met with Mayor Martin J. Walsh during a real estate conference in Las Vegas. They met for about 20 minutes, partly over the shared Irish heritage between Meehan and Walsh.
“When Blue Bottle comes to town, the mayor often doesn’t come out,” Meehan said. “I was so impressed he came.”
Matt Viser can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.