Blue Bottle moved up the rankings in 2018, going from No. 38 in last year's Future 50 to No. 16 this year. No doubt that ascent had to do with Nestle's acquisition of 68% of the coffee cafe in September 2017, providing capital to power growth. The following year, Blue Bottle added 17 locations and increased sales by 46%.

To stand apart from the competition, Blue Bottle focuses on providing customers with an exceptional cup of coffee brewed with care. To keep patrons' attention on the coffee, there is no Wi-Fi on the premises, and baristas only prepare basic espresso drinks without any added flavors. Stores are situated in upscale urban areas in cities including San Francisco, New York, Boston and Los Angeles, as well overseas in Kyoto, Tokyo and Seoul. In accordance with founder James Freeman's original purpose, coffee beans are sustainably sourced directly from farmers around the world, then roasted and brewed to exacting standards.

LocationOakland, Calif.
2018 Systemwide Sales ($000,000)$40*
YOY Sales Change46.4%
2018 U.S. Units57
YOY Unit Change42.5%
2018 Average Unit Volume ($000)$840*
Future 50 Year2019

*Technomic estimate

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