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Backed By Chobani's Founder, A Local Coffee Chain Tries To Revolutionize The Industry

Arriving in Philadelphia with few possessions and little money, Todd Carmichael started walking the city with business partner JP Iberti to scope out storefronts. In short order, they took on a 50-year lease in a bustling downtown neighborhood, renovated the space themselves and, in May 1994, opened the first La Colombe café. La Colombe Coffee Roasters, with 750 employees, now runs 26 cafés in five cities, distributes its coffee to some 3,500 restaurants, hotels, cafés and retailers and operates an online store. The company says revenue is approaching $100 million. Following a 2015 capital infusion from Chobani LLC Chairman and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya, the company early this year introduced its canned, chilled Draft Latte line nationally, quickly becoming a force in the U.S. ready-to-drink coffee category.

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