Caribou Coffee Closing, Will Reopen as Peet's Coffee & Tea

All Ohio stores will close; some will reopen as Peet's Coffee & Tea — including the location on Detroit Avenue.

Rumors running rampant on the Internet are partially true: Caribou Coffee locations in Ohio are closing. 

Some locations, however, will reopen as Peet's Coffee & Tea locations, marking the company's entrance into the Ohio market.

That includes the location at 15105 Detroit Avenue in Lakewood.

An employee at the store told Lakewood Patch on Sunday that the staff was "just told" about the closing.

"We're not very happy about it," said the employee, who asked not to be named. "We're all going to lose our jobs. We're going to be given the option to reapply for a job at Peet's, but we don't know much."

He said the Lakewood location is one of the stores that will be converted into a Peet's, however, he added that no timeline has been given for the change.

It's expected within in couple weeks.

Just last year, the city's architectural board of review OK'd the coffee company's sign changes to the building.

An employee at the Avon Caribou Coffee location said management learned on April 5 via conference call that all Ohio locations will close down, although some will re-open as a Peet’s Coffee & Tea locations.

A manager at the Westlake location said that site on Detroit Road will close on April 14 at noon. She would not give any additional information, including whether or not the store would be reopening.

The Avon employee said the Westlake location would be closed permanently.   

According to the Avon employee, the Avon location in the Commons will remain open until the summer before closing down for three weeks and re-opening as a Peet’s coffeehouse. 

There are also locations in Tower City, Beachwood, Solon and Rocky River.

Employees in Illinois have taken to Facebook to say several of that state's locations would also close and reopen as Peet's.

In December of 2012, German conglomerate Joh. A. Benckiser Group said it would be buying the publicly traded Minneapolis-based Caribou Coffee Co. for $340 million. Earlier in the year it bought Peet’s Coffee & Tea for $1 billion.

Peet’s Coffee was founded in Berkeley, CA, and is now headquartered in Emeryville, CA. The bulk of its stores are located in California. The company also maintains stores in Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, Oregon and Washington state.

According to Caribou Coffee’s website, there are 32 locations in Ohio.

Charles Milsaps April 07, 2013 at 09:43 PM
lol, I'm guessing there are some errors in this article, or it was written to high-lite the fact that none of the employees at any location know anything about what will actually happen.
Janice Snyder April 08, 2013 at 12:44 PM
The burning question is: "Will the Albanians who park themselves at Caribou all day 'give PEETS a chance'??"
John April 08, 2013 at 02:09 PM
The Rocky River location referenced in the article has been closed for some time now.
Paul Grimm April 08, 2013 at 03:03 PM
Transition has been in the works for awhile: http://www.forbes.com/sites/caroltice/2012/12/18/what-the-new-owner-of-peets-and-caribou-coffee-will-do-next/
william crosby April 08, 2013 at 04:11 PM
What a lousy venue for a coffee shop. In addition to being across the street from the WONDERFUL Root Cafe; the location's parking is horrible. Perhaps the set up is more appropriate to a real estate office or orthodontia office.
ian king April 08, 2013 at 05:51 PM
Hi William - tend to disagree. For those of us who have lived in or visited the Bay Area - this is great news! Peets Coffee is the best and their coffee shops tend to be much more interesting visually than Caribou's Alaska oriented decor - never could figure out why anyone would think that was attractive except for the fake gas fireplace! Root Cafe has changed recently. The Albanian/Arab guys who sit all day and play their very loud version of dominos have changed the atmosphere quite a lot of the Root. Their game is loud - throwing and rubbing the dominos together - and it goes on for hours! I am not alone in heading over to Starbucks in Rocky River to get some peace and quiet. Also, some friends recently ate at the Root and found hair in both their lunch time salads. So, I doubt if Peets will tolerate anyone making loud noise that others find disruptive or letting customer occupy a couple of tables for like 4 -5 hours that Root currently does. Competition is good, and keeping ALL customers's needs and comfort formost will make good business. The Root in a alot of our views has let down its regular customers by allowing a few customers to make noise that is nerve racking, and kinda take over the back part of their space. Some competition from Peets will be a good thing for all us Lakewoodites! Welcome Peets to the Berkeley of NE Ohio.
ian king April 08, 2013 at 05:57 PM
HI William - forgot to add that it is actually a great location - in the heart of downtown Lakewood, both daytime and nightime car traffic, pedestrian foot traffic, bicycle traffic and RTA stop right in front of the building. It can't get any better than that. And if you drive, you can park by Chipotle and walk one block. Peets will revitalize that shop's location and bring some needed competition to Root. And all of us Lakewoodites benefit when owners are reminded that when customers have options/choices, they must provide better service, etc. or go out of business.
John April 08, 2013 at 07:33 PM
I like the location, and generally disliked the collection of customers who congregate and tend to take over the place. I saw this happen at the Lakewood location, and then the Rocky River location. Employees at both have shared with me that they annoyed and pushed out traffic and more than one female friend of mine complained that they would not go back to either location where they felt they were getting "eye #@&%ed" (their words, not mine) by those who congregated at both establishments. One RR employee said this is the reason they actually closed that location. I will miss Caribou and I will welcome the new Peet's to the neighborhood and wish them luck.
ian king April 08, 2013 at 08:10 PM
Hi John, All you have to do is go into The Root now, or at Caribou, and be confronted by what is not the normal "coffee house" experience/vibe. The Albanians/Arab guys are not considerate of anyone else's experience of the coffeeshop. They are loud, occupy table/s for over 4 hours, and I have witnessed eyeballing of the female help or female customers. In fact, I complained once to the male staff worker at The Root about the loudness of the dominos being thrown about on the table less than 2 feet from my reading my book quietly at my table. He said I was not the only one to complain. And that the female staff had expressed to The Root owner that these guys are often rude to them. So why is this allowed to continue? Isn't this about a business creating a welcoming environment for ALL its customers? And shouldn't these be about customers also being welcoming and considerate of other customers? And of course, the staff? I am certain Peet's won't tolerate it - especially the occupying table/s for hours and only ordering a couple of expressos! No profit there! I suggest we all call The Root and suggest a couple approaches in order to reaffirm and reclaim a real "coffee house" experience again in Lakewood - 1. Limit games - why are they even allowed in a coffee house? No table games! 2. Everyone who has a table has to buy a coffee. No 6 guys and only 2 expressos. 3. Limit table time - I mean 3 hours is enough for anyone to enjoy their coffee, Internet, etc.
John April 08, 2013 at 09:08 PM
Hi Ian: it is a sign of bad management when management loses control of valuable retail space to groups of adults who are just using the space to gather without purchasing anything commensurate with the amount of space/time they are occupying, and who are driving other customers away. The management of any establishment can ask customers to move along or limit how long their space can be occupied.
ian king April 08, 2013 at 09:34 PM
Hi John, Thanks so much for the info. I also forgot to add that I also observed at The Root, outright hostile glaring by the guys playing dominos at a lesbian couple holding hands. They were loud with their comments in their native language and kept turning around and staring hostilely at them! My friend and I were so appalled by this display of homophobia, that we haven't been back to The Root since. We go to Starbucks in Rocky River or Westgate. Such a shame that a community institution that has represented tolerance and diversity is now being taken over by about 6 or 7 guys who don't appreciate or support the culture of The Root. Lets hope the owner demands some changes, or long time customers will go to more welcoming coffee houses.
pmwxyz April 09, 2013 at 12:00 AM
The RR Caribou by Heinen's and Europtical closed months ago, but there is another RR Caribou in the Walgreen's complex near Westgate. I guess that one will be closing also.
ian king April 10, 2013 at 06:59 PM
Hi Ronald, I think you have the wrong impression/perception here. My recent experiences at THE ROOT in Lakewood that I commented on, say about the last 7 months or so, are what I have personally experienced, lived through, observed and witnessed first hand = they are not fantasties, made-up racist rant, or bigoted/prejudiced in any way, shape or form. I and my friends, which include the typical Root customer: feminists, gays, queers, liberals, Democrats, Socialists, Commies, atheists, heck even a Republican or two, are not the ones creating the unpleasant, disrespectful, loud environment so often existing at the Root these days. We are the victims, not the perpetrators. We didn't create the problems, yet we have to live with them. So, perhaps, you should revisit your comment/ and to my thinking, somewhat biased thoughts, and call out those who are the ones creating the problems at The Root, to PLEAAAASE adher to common public decency/manners, and respect the rights of all customers to enjoy a pleasant, unobstrusive, respectful coffee house experience. To not do so otherwise, in my book, supports public displays of rudeness and hostility to those who are different.
adam kocinski April 11, 2013 at 04:21 PM
Hi Ian, i can assure you that any bigotry or homophobia that you have perceived has been simple misunderstanding of cultural differences.You need to remember that there is a gigantic language and cultural barrier between the Albania community and the rest of Lakewood including yourself.I worked at the cafe for several years and have a personal relationship with many of the men you have been commenting about and share none of you feelings.I too, was skeptical, until i took the effort to get to know them, speak with them even play dominoes with them. I am proud to say that they are as much a part of the Lakewood community as anyone else that I know, many of them living here for longer than i have. this is a community space and they have as much right to be here playing dominoes as you do to sit, reading a book. I encourage you to smile,, say hello talk to them and you will see they are not the men you have painted them to be. Your messages were brought to my attention while at the Root and have been discussed for several hours with customers and several employees, none of whom share any of your views in the slightest. To not welcome them here would be, to use your words, a "public display of rudeness and hostility to those who are different." Please make a small effort to get to know these men. If you find that your perceptions were correct, then I am happy to tell you that there is another coffee shop across the street that will be happy to have you.
vernon April 11, 2013 at 04:59 PM
No, they do NOT have the "right" to cost Root money by taking up space--commercial space, not public community space!-- from paying customers; the OWNER has the only "rights" here to make money, and rules. And to condone selfish, obnoxious behavior by telling the victims to go elsewhere, well you're beyond hope
vernon April 11, 2013 at 04:59 PM
No, they do NOT have the "right" to cost Root money by taking up space--commercial space, not public community space!-- from paying customers; the OWNER has the only "rights" here to make money, and rules. And to condone selfish, obnoxious behavior by telling the victims to go elsewhere, well you're beyond hope
vernon April 11, 2013 at 05:02 PM
ian, I don't know how long it's been since your Cali days, but there was converage in SFGate about guy who spent 8 hours hogging internet time and only 1 cup of tea!! so that's another issue
ian king April 12, 2013 at 12:19 AM
Hi Vernon, it is now called "reverse discrimination!"
ian king April 12, 2013 at 12:20 AM
Hi Adam, I personally have spoken to 2 female employees at The Root and BOTH told me they have often felt uncomfortable with the guys who play dominos. And they said they had discussed this with the female owner of The Root also. So, unless they don't work there anymore, not every employee supports what is now happening daily at The Root. (perhaps they are afraid to openly discuss their views, as they may be perceived as being too poitically incorrect?) Regarding cultural differences, I am all for that - but does that mean your other paying customers have to tolerate rude, loud, noisy activity at the same table, everyday, for hours from just a handful of customers? And again, I am not inventing this - why would I, as I have supported The Root for years - but my gay/lesbian friends have experienced their disapproving glances, usually followed by something said in their own language, and then lots of demeaning laughter. I don't think this hostile behavior is what Lakewood is all about, with at least 20% of our residents identifying as gay or lesbian. My friends clearly know/recognize the signs of hostility/bigotry/homophobia and that is what they have experienced on more than one recent visit to The Root. But, rest assured, we now spend our $$ at Starbucks in RR, and when Peets opens, will gladly support them also. Adam, if you enjoy 4+ hours everyday of loud dominos clicking about, from just 6 or 7 customers, go for it! Many of your longtime customers have already moved on.
Julie Hutchison April 16, 2013 at 03:19 AM
I am the owner of the Root cafe. Our policy is to welcome everyone at the Root. If there are any issues, we handle them as they come. We encourage people to speak directly to me if a situation is not resolved with a barista. I apologize that this matter was not brought to my attention before this and encourage your friends to talk to me directly about their experience so we can come to a resolution in the spirit of community. The Albanians, who are not also Arabic, have been coming to the Root since we opened. I know most of them by name as they are very good customers and warm, friendly people. I have pictures hanging up on my office wall that one of their sons, Seldie, drew for me. Seldie plays with my son when they are both at the Root. We recently celebrated with Ciko, who is now an official U.S. citizen. They have taught us some Albanian greetings and at one point, we had our cream bar accoutrements labeled in English and Albanian, so they would know where the dirty spoons go. Whenever I ask that they move on for our lunch rush, they pack up and leave within five minutes, all the while smiling at me and thanking me for allowing them to have their social time (and the best espresso in town, so they say) at the Root cafe. There have been many comments about the Albanians who play dominoes at the Root (there are plenty of Albanian customers who don't play dominoes) and most of them are positive statements about what an authentic experience they create at the Root.
ian king April 19, 2013 at 03:04 PM
Hi Julie, Thanks for taking the time to contribute to this challenging and thought-provoking thread. I appreciate your efforts to build a great business like the Root. I know it takes a lot of sacrifice and discipline. However, I disagree with your assessment regarding the behavior of the Albanians in your cafe. My gay and lesbian friends have endured a lifetime of discrimination and homophobic disapproving glances/looks/comments. They know it and feel it when it is there. They also have nothing to gain by misrepresenting or misleading anyone regarding their personal experiences at The Root. I shared their experiences as I have also felt the men at the domino table really do dominate the atmosphere and ambiance of your cafe. I wouldn't call it an authentic experience at all, but rather one that is annoying to many in your cafe. Again, I appreciate your personal positive experience with the men playing dominos, but that has not been a universal one. Best of luck and wish you well. We are now all happy and very content at Erie Island Coffee/Starbucks in Rocky River - and enjoy the music we can now hear without the sound of dominos/hostile glances disrupting our experience.
vernon April 19, 2013 at 04:02 PM
so you're basically telling the rest of us QUIET PAYING customers to "love it or leave it" since Albanians have taken over Root, and you're going to condone it
Julie Hutchison April 19, 2013 at 05:51 PM
Vernon, if you or anyone you know ever has an issue at the Root, I would like you to ask for me directly so it can be resolved. If domino games are disrupting your experience, I will personally see that we can all come to an agreement where everyone is happy.
John April 19, 2013 at 07:28 PM
Hi Julie: we have stopped going to the Root because of how my wife and our female friends were treated. This is the same reason we stopped going to Caribou across the street. It is disturbing to me that you never noticed this behavior, and I find it hard to believe that this forum was your first inkling of the issue. You are free to welcome anyone to your establishment and I think that is a good thing in a diverse community like lakewood, however we are also free to patronize other places where women are treated better by the other patrons. No one wants to have to have a management intervention to be able to enjoy a cup of coffee and some conversation. Please be more aware of what is happening at the Root, which is otherwise a real asset to Lakewood-frankly we would like to come back and have everyone feel welcome.
ian king April 19, 2013 at 09:15 PM
Hi John, once again, your perspective and ability to state it, is spot on. I, as a customer, should not have to be put in the difficult position of asking the owners/staff to rectify what is obvious: loud, disruptive, discriminatory behavior in any establishment. I cannot imagine that the staff are not aware of the noise level in The Root when the dominos are hitting the table and discussion is elevated at the domino table - I can't even hear the music at times it is that loud! And as anyone who visits local coffeeshops will confirm, it is not a hidden secret that the Caribou, the coffee shop at W 111 and Detroit, and now The Root, have their ambience/atmosphere completely dominated by the guys with dominos. Not a pleasant coffee shop experience anywhere, and then add the homophobic glances, well, not a desired Lakewood experience either! Maybe the solution is to bring back chess as the only game allowed in the coffee house if management is unwilling to address the needs/wants/desires of all its customers.
ian king April 19, 2013 at 09:23 PM
Also, wanted to add, the guys with dominos and their loudness/hostile glances dominating the atmosphere/ambiance of an establishment that should be calm and pleasant and inviting for ALL - isn't it really just about enjoying that cup of joe afterall? - is not a problem at Erie Coffee/Starbucks in Rocky River or at the Starbucks on Clifton. Why is that Julie? Again, we now willingly support these other establishments, yet do long for the days of the coffee house experience we use to enjoy when The Root first opened.
ian king April 19, 2013 at 09:27 PM
BTW, anyone tried the Gypsy Beans new coffee shop at The Beck on Detroit? I think we will try it this week - peace, quiet, friendly and lots of ART around! Can't go wrong with that combination and a nice cup of joe!


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