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Goodbye to the OG Caribou Coffee

Edina’s Caribou — the chain’s first-ever location — is closing

The exterior storefront of a Caribou Coffee in a brown brick building, with a blue awning, and a Bruegger’s Bagels to the left with a running shop to the right. A sidewalk, street, and public bench are in the foreground.
Farewell, ‘Bou!
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Justine Jones is the editor of Eater Twin Cities.

The first-ever Caribou Coffee, located in Edina, Minnesota at 4408 France Avenue, is closing on December 12. Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal was first to report the news.

Caribou, now a chain with more than 700 coffeeshops in 11 countries, was founded by John and Kim Puckett in 1992. The couple opened the Edina shop with big aspirations to expand, setting their goal at 1,000 stores nationwide. In a 2013 interview, John Puckett told the Business Journal that he and Mary spent $30,000 of the $40,000 they’d saved to launch the chain on graphic design, in order to build a strong brand identity — and indeed, Caribou emerged as one of the best-known coffee brands of the aughts and beyond.

The Pucketts ended up selling the chain in 2000. These days, it’s owned by JAB Holding Company, a Luxembourg-based conglomerate, which united Caribou with Panera Bread and Einstein Bagels to form Panera Brands in 2021. (The Caribou headquarters are still in Minnesota, though, in Brooklyn Center.)

Steve Young, property owner of the Edina location, confirmed the closure to the Business Journal, saying he hopes he can find a new tenant to “fulfill the needs of the community like Caribou Coffee did every day for over 30 years.” Caribou closed a number of Minneapolis coffeeshops earlier this year, though it announced more than 300 new franchise locations across the U.S. this spring.