Est. 1999, Portland, OR
Number of locations: 10 in Portland, Seattle, New York, and Los Angeles
Why it's unique: Stumptown started off with the goal of elevating coffee to the level of more sophisticated drinks like wine, and its scrappy approach to that built it into one of the hippest brands in the food and drink industry. Everything about the brand screams Portland Cool, from the founder's punk-rock attitude, to footholds with some of the trendiest wholesale accounts across the country, to a fleet of cafes that evangelize both keeping it real and upgrading your coffee game.
Why it might blow up: In addition to investing in Intelligentsia, Peet's has taken a serious interest in Stumptown, going so far as to purchase the company outright. The cooler-than-thou image is a double-edged sword and it's much of what anti-snobs loathe about the third-wave coffee movement, but Stumptown's dedication to craft and quality should be serious enough to win over most skeptics.
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Dan Gentile is a staff writer at Thrillist. He can't wait for these companies to open up shop in Austin, TX. Follow him to a stool at Figure 8 Coffee Purveyors at @Dannosphere.