Los Angeles

Event Announcement: Culinary Historians of Southern California

Our friends at the Culinary Historians of Southern California have alerted us to the following event this coming weekend:

The CHSC March program will convene on Saturday, April 9, 2005 at 10:30am, in the Mark Taper Auditorium at the Central Library and will be of special interest to coffee-lovers: Peet’s and Starbucks: My Life in Caffeine by Gerald Baldwin.

Jerry Baldwin was chairman of Peet’s Coffee & Tea from 1994 until January 2001.  From 1984 until 1994, he was president and CEO.  He continues to serve on Peet’s board. Baldwin and two friends founded Starbucks Coffee Company in Seattle in 1971.  Alfred Peet supplied roasted coffee at the inception of the company and helped them learn the skills of selection, blending and roasting the world’s finest coffees.

In 1984, Baldwin, a native San Franciscan, fulfilled a long-held dream by purchasing Peet’s. For the next three years, he owned Peet’s as well as Caravali Coffees and Starbucks. In 1987 the other two companies were sold. Baldwin retained Peet’s because it had the best coffee and customer loyalty.  Since taking over the business, Baldwin has focused on maintaining Peet’s as the coffee authority.  He worked to create an environment at Peet’s that encourages employee involvement and creative thinking.

Peet’s is committed to customer education about coffee and tea as well as honest, open communication with both customers and employees.  Peet’s is a place where customer relations and business transactions are built on trust, and where high standards in all aspects of the business are diligently pursued.

Baldwin is involved beyond the boundaries of his company and the coffee industry.  He currently serves as a Director of TechnoServe, an NGO working to alleviate poverty in developing countries; he has served as a Trustee and Chairman of the Coffee Quality Institute and serves as Director and past President of the Association Scientific Internationale du Café (ASIC).  He is also an honorary member of the Kilimanjaro Specialty Coffee Growers Association.  Baldwin was a founding director of Red Hook Ale Brewery and a founding contributor of the American Institute of Wine and Food.

Baldwin is a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA).  He was named Coffeeman of the Year for North America by Tea & Coffee Trade Journal.  Baldwin resides in San Francisco with his wife, Jane. They have three adult sons.