Born in Holland, Alfred Peet grew up in the coffee trade and moved to America after World War II. Appalled at the poor quality of coffee being consumed by Americans, he became inspired to open the first Peet’s Coffee & Tea store on April 1, 1966. His style of coffee was a radical departure from what was then available, emphasizing smaller batches, freshness, superior quality beans, and a darker roasting style that produced coffee with richness and complexity. By 1969, Peet’s Coffee & Tea became a gathering place for coffee devotees, and this success attracted other artisan food purveyors to the neighborhood, which soon became known as the Gourmet Ghetto. Alfred Peet further catalyzed the specialty coffee movement when he mentored and inspired a generation of coffee entrepreneurs, including the founders of Starbucks, whom he supplied with Peet’s roasted beans during their first years of operation.