State Documents Show Shift Atop Stumptown Coffee

Company Says Duane Sorenson "Very Much In Charge"

Stumptown Coffee officials say the company remains under the control of founder Duane Sorenson, though a document filed with the state of Oregon shows that Alexander S. Panos, a managing partner of the New York private equity fund TSG Consumer Partners, is now the authorized representative for Stumptown. 

The document sheds a bit of light on a day's worth of online rumors that the beloved Portland coffee roaster had been sold.

On a form filed with the Oregon Secretary of State on April 28, 2011 (see a very blurry PDF here and the template here), Stumptown Coffee Corp., registered to Panos at TSG's address in New York City, is named as the new registrant for businesses operating under the Stumptown Coffee name—while Stumptown Incorporated, registered to Sorenson, is named as a withdrawing registrant. 

However, a Stumptown official insisted this afternoon that the company remains under Sorenson's control.

"Duane [Sorenson] is very much in charge of Stumptown," the roaster's director of operations Matt Lounsbury told WW this afternoon.

"Duane has a friend who's invested some money into Stumptown to help us grow—to open up a couple of cafes, maybe a market," Lounsbury said. "But he's still very much in charge of the company. This is a time when banks aren't giving a lot of people money and we actually reached a point where the banks wouldn't give Stumptown any more money," Lounsbury said.

He refused to give the name of the friend, how much money he has invested, or what if any ownership he has received.

When asked who currently owns a majority share of Stumptown, Lounsbury said: "I can't really answer that one way or another. I can just tell you Duane is very much in charge of Stumptown."

Alexander Stavros Panos oversees the New York City office of private equity fund TSG Consumer Partners, which, according to the company's website, "is the recognized leader in the U.S. in building and investing in leading middle-market branded consumer companies." TSG has a track record of investing in specialty drinks: Previous investments have included Glaceau Vitamin Water and Voss Water, and the fund currently holds a $15 million stake in Island Oasis Frozen Cocktail Co., a Walpole, Mass. company that makes machines and mixes for frozen margaritas.

Calls to Panos were not returned by the end of the business day.

Willamette Week’s reporting has concrete impacts that change laws, force action from civic leaders, and drive compromised politicians from public office. Support WW's journalism today.