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Peet’s Coffee from California plans more shops in Las Vegas

Updated May 30, 2018 - 11:20 am

A piece of Californian coffee culture has made its way to Summerlin.

The first brick-and-mortar Peet’s Coffee in Las Vegas opened in February, close to Town Center Drive and the 215 Beltway.

The cafe, like thousands of others across the country, serves up the traditional fare of drip and espresso coffee, as well as frozen blended drinks, cold brews and baked goods.

Although Peet’s-branded coffee is available in nearly 100 grocery stores in Las Vegas, Peet’s fans, or “Peetniks,” had to drive to California to visit a Peet’s cafe before this one opened.

That didn’t sit well with Las Vegas couple Brad and Deanna Riccardi. The two had urged Peet’s to let them open a location in Las Vegas for about four years.

The brand is popular with Californians, and there are at least a few of those in Las Vegas.

“Anybody from California or the West Coast knows Peet’s,” Riccardi said.

The first Peet’s Coffee, Tea & Spices opened in Berkeley, California, in 1966. Today, there are 181 stores in California and 55 more across the country, primarily on the East and West coasts. That count doesn’t include kiosks, like those found in airports or licensed partners of the Peet’s brand.

At first the company wasn’t interested in the Riccardis’ idea, Brad Riccardi said. There was discussion of opening a Strip location at the time.

When the Strip location didn’t transpire, Peet’s approached the Riccardis again.

One of Brad Riccardi’s first jobs in the industry was as a salesman for a coffee-roasting company in Oregon.

“I never drank a cup of coffee in my life,” Riccardi said. But once he tasted it, he was hooked. Eventually he switched to distribution, providing both the coffee beans and roasting and espresso equipment for Las Vegas coffee shops and grocery stores.

He recalls a conversation with a Peet’s salesman at the McCarran International Airport in 2011, when the company still didn’t have a strong sales presence.

“I go, if you’re ever looking for a distributor here in Las Vegas, I would love to do it,” Riccardi said.

Deanna Riccardi said the couple hope to expand by two locations per year. They already plan to open another location within UNLV’s University Gateway development on South Maryland Parkway.

“We don’t want to grow too fast,” Deanna Riccardi said. The couple said they’ll likely cap out at six to eight locations within the valley.

On a sunny Thursday afternoon, Tom Wszalek sat sipping an iced mocha beneath a bright orange stitched tapestry hanging from one of the cafe walls. He said he was excited when he realized his favorite coffee shop had opened near his home.

“I’m from Southern California,” Wszalek said. “I only went to Peet’s when I lived there.”

Contact Madelyn Reese at mreese@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0497. Follow @MadelynGReese on Twitter.

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