When we think of Northwest-born coffee chains, a certain green logo on a paper cup comes to mind. But the Northwest is also a breeding ground for a number of smaller-scale multi-location coffee shops. These mini-chains, which range in size and scale from a few stores to a few dozen, may stay clustered close around their flagship café, or may reach down the West Coast to L.A. or across the U.S. to New York. Some have achieved their preferred reach, while others will continue to grow in the future.
Though this top 10 list is based solely on number of cafes and does not take into account the chains’ geographic reach or amount of beans distributed (we’ll save those for another time), below is an interesting snapshot of some of the Northwest’s most ubiquitous coffee brands.
1. Starbucks – No one needs a top 10 list to know that the world’s most gargantuan coffee chain, and one of the most notable chains on the planet, was born and bred in the Emerald City. | 21,000+ Locations – Based in Seattle
2. Tully’s Coffee – Established in 1992 by Tom Tully O’Keefe, who had high hopes of competing with Starbucks, Tully’s has since been through bankruptcy, buyout and rebuilding. Though its success has been varied in the Northwest, Tully’s is surprisingly big in Japan. | 50+ Locations – Based in Seattle
3. JJ Bean Coffee Roasters – Founded by the Neate family, who now have four generations of roasting coffee in Vancouver under their belts, JJ Bean was officially established in 1996 and today serves the greater Vancouver area and beyond with 17 cafes. | 17 Locations – Based in Vancouver
4. Caffe Ladro – As Ladro has grown since 1994 to serve seven cities in Western Washington with a total of 14 cafes, it has invested in intensive training for its baristas to maintain its specialty coffee cred. | 14 Locations – Based in Seattle
5. Caffe Vita – Another of the most recognizable names in Northwest coffee, Caffe Vita enjoys a huge wholesale distribution, plus locations in Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles and New York. | 11 Locations – Based in Seattle
6. Stumptown Coffee – Though many would argue that Stumptown is the second most recognizable coffee brand to come out of the Northwest to date, the company focuses most on distribution of beans and beverages, and falls sixth in number of cafes. That said, like Caffe Vita, Stumptown has also opened locations in Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles and New York. | 10 Locations – Based in Portland
7. Caffe Artigiano – Caffe Artigiano operates seven locations in various neighborhoods around Vancouver, with an eighth location opening in Park Place this month. | 7 Locations – Based in Vancouver
8. (tie) Caffe Fiore – Fiore’s focus is solely on 100 percent certified organic coffee, which has proved popular enough to sustain four cozy cafes around Seattle. | 4 Locations – Based in Seattle
9. (tie) Barista – Portland’s multi-roaster mini-chain Barista slings espressos from famous American and international roasters to four different Rose City neighborhoods. | 4 Locations – Based in Portland
10. (tie) Ristretto; Victrola; Fuel; Herkimer; Zoka – These five likely aren’t the only Northwest coffee shops with three locations, but they give an indication that three stores may be the tipping point between a multi-location neighborhood coffee joint and the beginnings of a growing chain. | 3 Locations – Based in Portland (Ristretto) & Seattle (Victrola, Fuel, Herkimer, Zoka)