Caribou Coffee is celebrating its 25th anniversary with reindeer games — and a new limited edition “Cabin Bar Mocha” drink.
On Thursday, the second-largest U.S. coffee chain will provide a free lunch, videos and antler-themed antics at its Brooklyn Center headquarters for employees. At the stores, “Perk” customers will receive a second drink for 25 cents.
The new “Cabin Bar Mocha” will be available from January through March at the stores.
“We wanted to create a handcrafted beverage like nothing else out there as a tribute to the North and to celebrate our 25th birthday,” said Caribou President John Butcher. “The Cabin Bar Mocha is really the icing on the cake and our gift to Caribou fans who we think will raise their cups to this new creation.”
After months of trials and taste tests, the final recipe features butterscotch chips, peanut butter, chocolate chips, espresso and whipped cream. The drink is topped with a small square of a “scotcheroo” Special K bar, which is made of the same ingredients.
Various other anniversary celebrations will be sprinkled throughout the year and featured via Instagram and other social media sites, officials said.
Caribou Coffee opened its first coffeehouse in Edina on Dec. 14, 1992. Founders Kim and John Puckett said they couldn’t have imagined that the entity would go on to grow into a chain with 797 company-owned and franchise locations in the United States and 11 other countries.
John Puckett returned to the company headquarters earlier this month to shake Butcher’s hand and recall his early days of being short-staffed, having supportive customers and losing Caribou’s coffee-roasting site in Minneapolis because of a zoning dispute. The couple opened their second Caribou coffeehouse in 1993 and captured the first $1 million in combined revenue soon thereafter.
The Pucketts sold their company to a Bahrainian investment firm in 2000. The business sold to the Luxembourg-based JAB Holding Company in 2012.
While the chain does not disclose current revenue, industry watchers put it at about a half-billion dollars.
One thing Caribou Coffee hasn’t lost with the changes in ownership is its Twin Cities connection, Butcher said.
Besides still operating from Brooklyn Center, each store still has Minnesota-themed decor — even those in the Middle East. “They love the fireplaces,” Butcher said.