The Founder of Stumptown Is Getting Back in the Coffee Game with a New Roastery

Craig Mitchelldyer / Getty Images
Duane Sorenson will launch a roasting company called Puff later this year.

For true coffee lovers, the name “Stumptown” means something. Whether it’s the brand that first turned you on to “third-wave” coffee, still your favorite roaster to this day, or just one of the seminal companies in the modern coffee movement, Stumptown was influential in changing people’s view of “good” coffee. The man behind the famous Portland, Oregon, coffee company was Duane Sorenson – so when you hear that he is planning to launch a new roastery, it’s worth taking a listen.

In 2015, Stumptown was sold to JAB Holding Company, the parent company of Peet’s Coffee (as well as of other big names in coffee like Intelligentsia and Keurig). At that point, Sorenson essentially got out of coffee, instead focusing on the restaurant biz. But according to OregonLive, this November, he plans to make a coffee comeback, opening a new independent roastery in Portland called Puff – just around the corner from his original Stumptown location.

“I miss roasting coffee,” he told OregonLive. “I want to roast coffee. I miss turning on the coffee roasters and smelling the coffee all day long and working directly with the farms, and I pushed and pushed and went nuts with Stumptown.” He appears to be taking a similar approach with Puff. “Over the past year, all my energies have gone into building a coffee company and raising my babies,” he explained. “I can't wait to go to sleep tonight, to wake up in the morning to make people coffee.”

Though Sorenson says he originally had to agree to a non-compete clause as part of Stumptown’s sale, he’s now allowed to rekindle his coffee love affair. In fact, he claims that both Stumptown and Peet’s gave him their blessing. If he can work similar magic to what he started back in 1999, they may regret saying that. When OregonLive asked him if Puff could eventually grow beyond just a single location, he admitted he’s still “very competitive.” We wouldn’t be surprised if coffee connoisseurs are also curious enough to drop a few bucks at this new venture to see if lightning can indeed strike twice.

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