Coffee Icon to Give Unified Symposium Keynote

Former Peet's owner and Starbucks co-founder to kick off annual wine and grape conference

by Andrew Adams
Organizers of the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium announced that Jerry Baldwin would give the keynote address at the conference in late January.

Sacramento, Calif.—Jerry Baldwin, former owner of Peet’s Coffee and Starbucks co-founder, will present the keynote luncheon address Jan. 28, the first day of the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium.

Unified organizers made the announcement earlier today. “Jerry is a well accomplished, multi-talented business professional on an international scale,” Lyndie Boulton, executive director of the American Society for Enology and Viticulture (ASEV), said in a statement. “His unmatched expertise on marketing and customer service will make for a powerful opening day.”

ASEV and the California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) host the annual Unified symposium, which takes place Jan. 28-30 in 2014. The keynote luncheon requires a separate registration and costs $85 for ASEV/CAWG members and exhibitors and $135 for non-members if purchased before Jan. 21.

Baldwin purchased the Peet’s chain in 1984 after learning much of the coffee trade directly from Alfred Peet, who founded the first coffee house under his name in Berkley, Calif., in 1966. Before buying Peets, Baldwin founded Starbucks in 1971 with Zev Siegl and Gordon Bowker.

In 1987, Howard Schultz who had been hired as the Starbucks director of marketing and retail operations in 1982 and had started his own chain of coffee shops, acquired Starbucks with a group of investors from Seattle, Wash.

After the Starbucks buyout, Baldwin owned and managed Peet’s for 25 years and still serves on the company’s board of directors. He now owns and operates a vineyard and J. Baldwin Wines in Glen Ellen, Calif.

“Jerry Baldwin’s long career as a business leader and visionary in the coffee industry illustrates a valuable lesson, even in mature industries and product categories the opportunities for innovation and value creation are almost limitless,” said John Aguirre, president of CAWG.

For more information on this year’s Unified, including a full daily schedule, visit: unifiedsymposium.org.


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