Crosscut

Exclusive Patrick Dempsey interview: What will he do with Tully's?

The actor turned coffee entrepreneur stopped by the Clyde Hill Tully's this morning, where Crosscut talked with him about his plans for the Seattle coffee chain.

By Greg Shaw

January 04, 2013.

The Clyde Hill Tully's, nestled among towering trees just East of the 520 bridge, has long been the not-so-secret hangout of CEOs, professional athletes and other notables. This morning the normal hustle and bustle was interrupted by those same notables reaching for their mobile phones to snap photos of actor Patrick Dempsey, who just happened to stop by around 10:30 this morning, just a day after Tully's confirmed that the Grey's Anatomy star had won the bidding to purchase the coffee chain with a bid of $9.15 million.

Dempsey, known to fans as Dr. McDreamy, lives in Los Angeles but says that owning a coffee brewing company is something that takes him back to his childhood in Lewiston, Maine. His father used to take him to a local barista there.

"We live in a world that is so fast-paced and a place like this is just beautiful," Dempsey said.

Dempsey told Crosscut this morning that he sees Tully's as an iconic brand with deep roots in the community. He said Tully's customers are loyal, and that attracted him to the brand. (He also said he likes the coffee.)  Dempsey said he wants to maintain these attributes.

He also said that his ownership group will "have to evaluate everything." Asked if he sees Tully's expanding or contracting, he said he didn't want to reduce the number of stores, but is interested in consistency, quality and stability. He said that some of the operations are "antiquated."

He expects changes to be slow and thoughtful.

One young woman, who stopped by the store, asked Tullys CEO Scott Peterson who was being photographed behind the counter. "That's the star of Grey's Anatomy," he replied.

A quick smile came to her face and she rushed over to get her own photograph with McDreamy.

Watch out, Howard Schultz. Tully's just got sexier than Starbucks.

Greg Shaw is the former publisher and CEO of Crosscut.

View this story online at: http://crosscut.com/2013/01/04/business/112319/actor-and-now-coffee-entrepreneur-patrick-dempsey-/

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Printed on October 01, 2014