Bulletproof Will Open NYC Cafe to Spread Butter-Drink CrazeBy
Products have built following in Silicon Valley, Wall Street
Company sees physical cafes as a way to make brand mainstream
Bulletproof 360 Inc., whose butter-laced coffee has made it a darling of Silicon Valley, will open its first cafe in New York, part of a push to turn its cult following into more of a mainstream business.
The company, which already has two locations in California, will be adding a New York cafe soon as its first East Coast outpost, said Chief Executive Officer Dave Asprey. Bulletproof’s products caught on early on Wall Street, “so it makes sense to have one in New York City,” he said in an interview.
Opening physical locations in major cities could help Bulletproof push beyond its base of techies, celebrities and so-called biohackers. The Bellevue, Washington-based company’s signature coffee includes 1 to 2 tablespoons of grass-fed butter, as well as “brain octane oil” derived from coconuts. Bulletproof also sells collagen protein bars and supplements, which it says can boost energy and brain function.
Bulletproof offers the items online and in more than 1,000 retail and grocery stores, including Whole Foods Market Inc. Sales rose 37 percent in 2016, according to the closely held company, which didn’t elaborate further on its finances. The business has raised about $15 million in venture-capital funding, though Asprey remains the majority owner.
Its current cafes are located in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, California, and there are plans for an additional store in Seattle. Prices may be a bit high for customers seeking a typical cup of joe: The Santa Monica store sells a medium Bulletproof coffee for $4.75. It also offers breakfast burritos, bone broth and corn-less tacos.
Bulletproof also is expanding its ranks. Earlier this year, it hired former Amazon.com Inc. executive Anna Collins as chief operating officer. The company now has more than 50 employees.
The New York store will have some grab-and-go food, although it will be more focused on coffee, Asprey said. Bulletproof also is looking at Austin, Texas; Chicago; San Diego; and San Francisco for future sites, he said.
“We’re building a global brand,” Asprey said.