10 Biggest Business Deals of 2015

Philadelphia businesses made plenty of big moves in 2015. Everybody’s favorite coffee roaster got a new owner, two big universities announced a merger, and virtually every hospital seems interested in joining forces with one another.

Still, one of the biggest deals of the year — Comcast’s $45 billion merger with Time Warner Cable — stalled after federal regulators recommended blocking it.

But there were still plenty of monster deals in 2015. Here are the top 10:

1. Jefferson Merges with Abington. And Aria. And Philly U.

Jefferson-Hospital-University-JEFF-FUSCO-940X540

For Jefferson, 2015 was a year of huge changes. After fundamentally restructuring how the organization is managed in 2014, Jefferson ended its financial partnership with Main Line Health and began pursuing new arrangements. Read more »

Perks: USA Today Picks Philly Hotel as Best for Coffee-Loving Travelers

Freshly ground La Colombe, anyone? | Instagram

Freshly ground La Colombe, anyone? | Sean Bauer, Instagram

Lookin’ for a hotel with some serious perks for coffee-enthusiasts? USA Today recently compiled a list of the 5 best hotels for coffee-lovers across the globe, and one Center City establishment is near the top of the heap.

ROOST Apartment Hotel, an urban-chic extended stay brand that revamped the upper floors of the Packard Building at 15th and Chestnut, ranks #3, specifically due to their coffee program and Coffee Concierge.

Essentially, ROOST supplies guests with nearly $750 in high-end coffee making equipment (and instructions) in order to encourage residents to brew the most incredible coffee they’ve ever made. Perhaps the best part: it’s local.

“All of the property’s apartments include a tin of La Colombe whole beans, a 6-cup Chemex Coffee Maker, Hario Drip Scale, Bonavita Electric Kettle, and Baratza Virtuoso Grinder,” says the listicle in USA Today. Want the coffee shop experience in your room? You can call the Coffee Concierge to do it for you. Boom.

Read more »

Laurel’s Nick Elmi Trying His Hand at Wings

elmi-coffee-wings-400Tonight, Nick Elmi of Laurel on East Passyunk is creating wings for Sidecar Bar and Grille’s monthly “Wing Thing.” Elmi, who clearly needs help in the kitchen, is bringing in his coffee friend, Chris Miller, lead roaster of La Colombe, who will be helping to make La Colombe Coffee Cured Wings with Eddie’s habanero squash sauce and benne seeds.

The wings will try and take down my wing creation that by all accounts (or at least my account) are the best wings ever. But the Top Chef winner probably has a shot at second best; with coffee and a habanero sauce, at least Tom Colicchio won’t be able to complain they’re under-seasoned.

Elmi and Miller will be at the Sidecar starting at 5 p.m. and the wings will be on the menu for the rest of the week.

Nick Elmi of Laurel Restaurant BYOB in the kitchen for this month’s ‘Wing Thing’ [Facebook]

ThinkFest Recap: Todd Carmichael — The Coffee Revolution Starts in Philly

Todd Carmichael at ThinkFest.

Todd Carmichael at ThinkFest.

ThinkFest is streaming live all day. Watch ThinkFest here.

As usual, La Colombe Torrefaction CEO Todd Carmichael was a ball of coffee-fueled energy on Friday morning.

During his session at ThinkFest 2015, Carmichael called out large food companies for failing to innovate and choosing profits over quality. He even said he’s leading a new coffee revolution and called out Starbucks and Keurig Green Mountain (maker of K-Cups) for being “too big to lead.”

The revolution, he said, is coming in the form of canned and kegged draft lattes — something he thinks will destroy the iced coffee market due to its “luxurious” taste and texture. In typical Carmichael form, he took off his blazer just a few minutes into his talk.

Here are some highlights: Read more »

ThinkFest Preview: Todd Carmichael

See La Colombe CEO Todd Carmichael at ThinkFest 2015.

See La Colombe CEO Todd Carmichael at ThinkFest 2015.

Todd Carmichael isn’t your typical CEO. White shirt, tie and stiff attitude? Not a chance. Try T-shirt, jeans and a baseball cap instead. Oh and he was the first man to make a solo trek across Antartica to the South Pole. And he has a reality show where he travels the world. Did I mention he worked for a Saudi prince and adopted four children from Ethiopia?

But the CEO of the fast-growing La Colombe Torrefaction has had plenty of adventures in the business world as well. Since the mid-1990s, Carmichael’s company has grown from one cafe in Rittenhouse Square to a coffee empire. The company is now on a quest to build 100 cafes across the country and its coffee beans are a staple on supermarket shelves across the country. Read more »

Coffee, Rum And Art–Tonight At The Barnes Foundation

LaColombeRumMany of Dr. Alfred Barnes’ commissioned artists, as famous as they are now, marched to the beat of their own drum at the time they lived and painted. So it’s somewhat fitting that The Barnes Foundation is partnering with La Colombe tonight to showcase Different Drum–the coffee roaster’s own rum at an event at the Barnes Foundation.

Rum cocktails at an art gallery? What could possibly go wrong…

Read more »

Drinking Cocktails at La Colombe

La Colombe is putting its rum and draft coffee to good use.

La Colombe is putting its rum and draft coffee to good use.

With each Philadelphia location of La Colombe now offering the sweet, creamy and impossible to resist Draft Latte (City Hall location gets it Friday) as well as flaky biscuits from the Fishtown flagship, I thought I might have less reason to head to Fishtown. But a liquor license is a fluorescent orange siren to us at Foobooz, and La Colombe’s cocktail list, empowered by the Draft Latte as well as the Pure Black on draft makes the coffee shop a must-visit cocktail spot.

La Colombe’s current  drink list makes use of those draft coffee offerings as well as the coffee-based beer, Yards’ Brewing’s Snorri’s Awakening. Of particular note, the Carte Blanche, a Different Drum Rum and Draft Latte version of the White Russian provides a delicious and amped way to salute Jeff Lebowski.

La Colombe Cocktail List »

Yogurt Founder Invests in La Colombe

Todd Carmichael, Hamdi Ulukaya and J.P. Iberti | Photo via La Colombe

Todd Carmichael, Hamdi Ulukaya and J.P. Iberti | Photo via La Colombe

The founder of Chobani Greek Yogurt, Hamdi Ulukaya, has become the sole investor in Philadelphia’s La Colombe. Ulukaya bought out Goode Partners, a private equity firm that invested $28.5 million in La Colombe last year.

In a post to La Colombe’s blog, La Colombe co-founder Todd Carmichael said, “Hamdi and I share the same views and values about what makes a product and a brand great – and the impact that a company that makes great products can have on the world.”

Carmichael calls Ulukaya “one of the greatest craft entrepreneurs of our time.” Chobani has passed $1 billion in revenues.

For more on the deal, check out Biz Philly.

Chobani Founder Invests Big in La Colombe [Biz Philly]
A Note from Todd: La Colombe’s Next Chapter [La Colombe ]

Chobani Founder Invests Big in La Colombe

la-colombe-fishtown-sign-940

La Colombe CEO Todd Carmichael frequently seeks out business executives that he respects, so he can pick their brains and learn how they operate. One of them is Hamdi Ulukaya, founder of the wildly popular greek yogurt company Chobani.

Soon, the two became fast friends — and La Colombe now makes a coffee brand just for Chobani (and its New York cafe) and the two traveled to Turkey for an episode of Dangerous Grounds, Carmichael’s Travel Channel TV show about hunting for the world’s best coffee beans. Read more »

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