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Our Story

STRONG COFFEE SERVED HERE. We started Alterra Coffee in 1993, roasting on the fifth floor of a warehouse in Walker’s Point. We just wanted to make a great cup of coffee and hoped if we did it right, others would want that same great experience. Since then, we have been working hard to constantly improve our craft and grow our business, never losing sight of that original goal – providing a remarkable experience to our customers.

THIS IS CRAZY… After years of building our business locally, our brand had attracted national attention. While being courted by a “big guy” was flattering, the reality of what would happen to our company if we sold it was not the future we had imagined, for ourselves or our employees. As a result, we declined to sell and went back to work. Over the next few years, we continued to say “no” until we finally struck a deal that ensured the future of our business as well as our commitment to our employees and the community that has supported us.

ALTERRA GOES GLOBAL – WE STAY LOCAL. In the fall of 2010, we sold our brand name to Mars Drinks. Wildly misinterpreted, we didn’t sell our company or become a division of the multinational; we sold ONLY our name and certain artistic assets. Since then, we have shared the Alterra brand with Mars. They are using it worldwide for single-serve office coffee, while we have continued to own and operate our company and all of our cafes. As part of the deal, we have now decided to give up the name and go our separate ways. The Alterra name will live on, but we will strike a new independent path.

VIVA COLECTIVO! As we celebrate our 20th anniversary and begin this new chapter of our business, we wanted a name that reflects more of who we have become and where we want to go as a company. While coffee will always be at the center of our brand, we have continued to grow and improve our craft in many other areas, as well as built lasting relationships with our customers and their daily lives. We were inspired by the artful and funky buses used for public transportation across Latin America, “colectivos” (co-lec-TEE-vo), and the iconic part of everyday life they represent for everyday people. We think this symbol is a great match for our brand and the collective experience we share through the products we make, the places we build, the communities we support, and the customers we serve.

EVERYBODY ON THE BUS. In reality, nothing has changed except the name we call ourselves. While we fondly say goodbye to Alterra, we say hello to COLECTIVO and our new adventures. We have never been more committed to improving our craft, building sustainable relationships with our community, and growing the company we spent the last 20 years building. We hope you continue to come along for the ride, support us when we do well, and remind us when we can improve.

Sincerely,

Lincoln, Paul, Ward, and all of us at COLECTIVO COFFEE

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