Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Tully's Stores Run out of Coffee as Rebranding Looms

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Tully's Stores Run out of Coffee as Rebranding Looms

Article excerpt

Byline: The Associated Press

SEATTLE -- Tully's Coffee, which once aspired to challenge Starbucks in the global coffee market, is temporarily closing stores citing a lack of coffee as it undergoes what a spokeswoman called a rebranding.

Tully's project director Krystal Tonning advised managers Thursday afternoon that there was "very minimal coffee left in stores," The Seattle Times reported Friday.

"Unfortunately, we don't know how long this will take, so we need to prepare the stores to be closed for a couple days," she said.

Tully's spokeswoman Suzy Quinn insisted Friday that the closures were part of "exciting rebranding plans."

The company, founded in 1992, was purchased out of bankruptcy in 2013 by Michael J. Avenatti -- better known today as the attorney for Stormy Daniels, the porn actress who was paid $130,000 in 2016 to keep quiet about an alleged affair with Donald Trump a decade before he was elected president.

"All of the store closures relate to beginning the rebranding process, which takes months," Quinn said in an email to The Associated Press on Friday. "We had to exhaust all existing inventory for the rebranding."

Quinn did not immediately respond to an email asking why -- if the closures were planned -- Tonning described this as "an incredibly confusing, frustrating and simply difficult time" in her email to managers.

"Before we discuss a plan moving forward, we really would like to take a moment to applaud and praise the efforts you have given this past week," Tonning told staff. "The amount of flexibility, teamwork and overall positive morale given in an incredibly confusing, frustrating and simply difficult time is once again astonishing."

She added: "As soon as we receive word that coffee deliveries are to resume, we will need to contact employees to notify them of their next shift (sticking to the existing schedule). …

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