After humble beginnings, Oregon's Dutch Bros launches IPO

Wednesday, September 15, 2021 | Andrew Selsky, Associated Press

Travis Boersma
Dutch Bros. Coffee co-Founder and President Travis Boersma rings the ceremonial first trade bell on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, as his company's IPO opens, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — After humble beginnings as a pushcart operation in an Oregon town and growing into a company with hundreds of drive-thru coffee shops, Dutch Bros Coffee launched an initial public offering Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

The offering drew an enthusiastic response from investors, who sent shares of the company up by more than 50% within hours.

Dutch Bros Coffee Executive Chairman Travis Boersma rang the ceremonial first trade bell on the floor of the NYSE on Wednesday. The company had an initial public offering price of $23. By the close of the day's trading, the share price had jumped to about $37.

The IPO was the biggest in state history and made the coffee company the state's fifth-most-valuable company, with a stock market value approaching that of Portland-based Columbia Sportswear, according to The Oregonian/OregonLive.

The Pacific Northwest is known for its love of coffee. Starbucks started in 1971 in Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market. Unlike that chain, which is now ubiquitous in the United States and beyond, Dutch Bros is 100% drive-thru.

The shops with windmill emblems have sprouted up across the West and are now located as far east as Texas and Oklahoma.

Wearing a baseball cap turned backwards and a T-shirt saying Rage Against the Machine — the name of a hard rock band — Boersma exuberantly banged a gavel while presiding over the closing bell at the NYSE while flanked by executives and guests of Dutch Bros Coffee.

“It’s a mindblow, man,” he told KDRV, an Oregon TV station. “Who would have thought that you could take a coffee cart in a small little town like Grants Pass — really do what you hear about as you grow up as a kid, you know, the American dream — and actually go out and pull it off."

“It’s surreal,” he added.

Company President and CEO Joth Ricci told IPO Edge, a news outlet focusing on new company share offerings, that the company decision to go public doesn’t mean its growth will be overly aggressive.

“We are not accelerating growth because of the IPO but staying disciplined,” Ricci told IPO Edge.

Boersma and his brother Dane started off in business in 1992 selling espresso-based beverages from their pushcart near the railroad tracks in the southern Oregon town of Grants Pass, which now has a population of about 37,000.

Among the current offerings are many sugary and energy drinks. Among them is Shark Attack, composed of an in-house brand of energy drink plus blue raspberry, coconut, lime and pomegranate syrups. A medium-sized blended, icy version packs 500 calories.

Dane Boersma died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, called ALS and also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, in 2009 at age 55.

Dutch Bros Coffee in May held its 15th annual Drink One for Dane day, in which the company donated a portion of proceeds from all of its shops to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the leading non-profit organization in ALS research, care and advocacy.

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Follow Andrew Selsky on Twitter at https://twitter.com/andrewselsky


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