Saturday 02 March 2024
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Oakland-based roasting pioneer, Peerless Coffee & Tea, marks 100th anniversary

Since its inception, Peerless has been ahead of its time. In the 1970s, Peerless developed personal and direct-trade relationships with farmers. In 1980, it received Organic Certification and, in 2000, Fair Trade Certification. In 2002, second generation owner Sonja Vukasin worked with Oakland Museum Designer Ted Cohen to open the first coffee and tea memorabilia museum on the West Coast at the Peerless roastery

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OAKLAND, Calif., USA – Third-generation family owned-and-operated Oakland-based coffee roaster Peerless Coffee & Tea will mark their 100th anniversary this year with a series of celebrations and events. To kick off this momentous occasion, Peerless is giving away 100 cups of coffee at their cafe in Oakland’s warehouse district on Friday, February 23, 2024 (located at 260 Oak St., Oakland, CA, open 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.).

This will mark the start of their “Peerless Acts of Giving” initiative, which will also include Peerless donating 100 cents from every cup and pound of coffee sold on the first Friday of every month to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Oakland (beginning Friday, March 1, and continuing throughout 2024).

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As part of the anniversary, Peerless is also excited to announce the release of their first ROC® (Regenerative Organic Certified) coffee blend, which represents the next frontier in sustainable coffee, and reflects the brand’s legacy of innovation.

Founded in 1924 by John Vukasin, Peerless was the first specialty bean shop in the Western U.S., and one of the original gourmet coffee and tea purveyors in Oakland at a time when the Bay Area was a hub for coffee roasters, including Folgers and Hills Bros. Today, Peerless’s roastery and cafe is run by the third generation of Vukasins, George Jr. and his sister Kristina, who proudly continue the company’s long-standing support of the Oakland community.

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“If my grandfather were alive today, he would be amazed at what we have built,” says George Vukasin Jr., President & CEO of Peerless. “We have not just survived a hundred years, but, in the face of today’s increasingly competitive coffee landscape, Peerless continues to thrive. We are so grateful for our hardworking staff and our patrons who continue to support us. Now it’s on to the next 100!”

Since its inception, Peerless has been ahead of its time. In the 1970s, Peerless developed personal and direct-trade relationships with farmers. In 1980, it received Organic Certification and, in 2000, Fair Trade Certification. In 2002, second generation owner Sonja Vukasin worked with Oakland Museum Designer Ted Cohen to open the first coffee and tea memorabilia museum on the West Coast at the Peerless roastery.

In 2019, Peerless was awarded Roast magazine’s coveted “Roaster of the Year”—a one-time only recognition given to only the best-known craft coffee roasting names in America. With the release of its first ROC® certified blend, Peerless continues its long-standing commitment to equitable and environmentally friendly business practices.

Established in 2017, Regenerative Organic Certified is the first certification program to standardize criteria and benchmarks for coffee production that account for soil health, land management, animal welfare, and farmer/worker fairness. ROC® aims for a carbon neutral footprint, to guarantee full transparency in the supply chain, and to ensure that farmers grow crops using regenerative practices.

Peerless’s Centennial Anniversary ROC Blend

Specially created to mark Peerless’s milestone Centennial Anniversary, the blend combines Regenerative Organic Certified coffees from Coop Soppexcca Las Hermanas in Jinotega, Nicaragua with Bird Friendly washed beans from Coop Asprasar in Tolima, Colombia. Coop Soppexcca Las Hermanas is a Fair Trade and organic-certified coffee cooperative known for its emphasis on gender inclusion and the empowerment of female farmers. Made up of 40% women, it helps affiliated female farmers produce, manage, and market their own coffee. Profits from sales of Las Hermanas coffee are invested in prevention programs for cervical cancer.

Tasting Notes: Small-batch roasted to ensure maximum extraction of flavor notes, this incredible medium roast boasts tasting notes of dark chocolate, dried berries and candied nuts. (Available beginning February 23, 2024; retails for $15.50 for a 10 oz. bag)

Peerless will continue to announce additional events tied to its anniversary and the Peerless Act of Giving initiative throughout 2024.

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