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North Carolina's Counter Culture Coffee Is Building Bigger, Fancier Headquarters

The company is moving to bigger space so it can roast more coffee.

Emma Humphries/Eater Charleston

Durham, N.C.-based Counter Culture Coffee is growing again: The indie coffee roaster just announced it's building a brand new roastery and company headquarters. The new facilities will still be located in Durham, but a bigger space means the company will be able to produce more coffee to supply wholesale customers and fuel its online store.

Counter Culture, which was launched back in 1995, does not have any retail locations of its own, but it has 10 training centers sprinkled throughout the country, with locations in NYC, Chicago, Boston, Washington D.C., Philly, Atlanta, and Charleston, plus two in its home state of North Carolina. It expanded to the West Coast with an Emeryville, Calif. location earlier this year, and there's also one on the way for L.A. The training centers cater to both coffee professionals and the general public with classes, certifications, and free tastings. The new Durham facility will have a dedicated room for espresso, as well as an an outdoor patio and space for food trucks.

With such major growth for Counter Culture, is a corporate buyout — or at least, an attempted one — imminent? Portland hipster icon Stumptown Coffee sent shockwaves through the craft coffee community when news broke this week that it was being acquired by West Coast coffee giant Peet's. Cultishly adored Oakland, Calif.-based roaster Blue Bottle Coffee appears to be getting a little more corporate itself: After raising nearly $50 million in funding, it used the money to open two locations in Japan and purchase other independent coffee companies that specialize in mail-order coffee subscriptions and pre-ground coffee beans. Meanwhile, iconic Chicago-based roaster Intelligentsia is reportedly looking to sell for around $100 million.

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