Peet’s Coffee & Tea, a specialty coffee and tea company that started the artisan coffee movement back in 1966, announced its first major retail launch in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area. The company will open 23 new stores in a phased rollout across the market this year, employing approximately 350 people. A flagship store opens at 1701 Pennsylvania Avenue, just steps from the White House. Peet’s entry into D.C. will become the company’s second largest retail market outside of California and its biggest East Coast retail footprint.

In an effort to support the local community, Peet’s is partnering with local non-profit 826DC to provide dedicated store space for student tutoring sessions and writing workshops. Also, Peet’s is now the new, official coffee of the Washington Nationals, D.C.’s Major League Baseball franchise, and will be served at Nationals Park.

“This is an exciting time in Peet’s history as Washington D.C. will officially become our second biggest home outside of California,” says Dave Burwick, president and CEO of Peet’s Coffee and Tea. “We have a strong following of loyal fans, known as “Peetniks,” in the Washington D.C. community that know and love us. We couldn’t be more pleased to bring the Peet’s brand to life for them, and also introduce more fans to our premium coffee experience.”

Peet’s 48-year heritage is rooted in its commitment to premium coffee quality. The company sources the world’s best beans from around the world, hand roasts in small batches, and maintains a superior standard of freshness through its direct store delivery network. The new D.C. stores will be uniquely designed to take the coffee shop experience to a higher standard, similar to the way Peet’s crafts its premium coffee. In particular, the 1701 Penn flagship will reflect a contemporary environment, using locally specific design elements that celebrate the spirit of the neighborhood along with imagery adorning the walls that chronicles Peet’s history.

In addition, given Peet’s long-standing commitment to being a neighborhood coffee shop and supporting the local community, the company is partnering with important D.C. area businesses and non-profits.