Dutch Bros filed the usual documents August 20 for its planned initial public offering of stock, intending to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol BROS and aiming to raise at least $100 million. But the filing also included a poignant letter to investors from Travis Boersma, co-founder and executive chairman.
“My brother Dane and I founded Dutch Bros in 1992. We are third-generation dairy farmers, and changes to that industry were making our prospects pretty grim. So we used that reality as motivation to branch out and try something new. Dane and I shared a desire to do something extraordinary together. We bought a double-head espresso machine, cranked up the stereo, threw open the barn doors and started experimenting with coffee beans,” he wrote, detailing company statistics and historical lore. Then the letter turned poignant.
“In 2004, my brother Dane was diagnosed with ALS, a progressive disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Five years later, ALS would take Dane’s life. But it did not diminish the incredible inspiration I draw from my brother, to carry on and fulfill the dream we had in 1992. I have a personal mission statement that I share with everybody: I, Travis Boersma, see, hear, know and feel that the purpose of my life is to enjoy the journey, to maximize the moment, to be a loving, passionate, inspirational leader that defies the odds, to be a force for God and a force for good, and I hope to meet the man that I am someday when I die, not the man I could have been.”
In its 30th year of operation, Dutch Bros has expanded from one pushcart to more than 470 drive-thru coffee locations in 11 states and with more than 16,500 people employed by corporate and franchised stores. A turning point for the business came in 2008, when they decided to stop selling franchises to anyone outside the existing Dutch Bros system and “decided to grow from within using the leaders our franchise partners helped create. That shift was a game changer for us,” Boersma wrote.
For the first six months of this year, Dutch Bros reported net income of $5.8 million on revenue of $228 million, compared with $5.3 million net income and $151 million revenue in the first half of 2020.
Dutch Bros sold a minority stake to TSG Consumer Partners in 2018 and planned to use the partnership to expand into new markets. TSG and Travis Boersma are listed among the largest shareholders in Dutch Bros. A date for the filing, led by BofA Securities, J.P. Morgan and Jefferies, is not yet set.
Boersma closed his letter this way: “I am inspired by our people, our mission and all the work we’re doing in communities—I hope you are too. Welcome aboard, fasten your seatbelt—we’re on a rocket ship and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I hope you enjoy this experience as much as I do.”