Having blogged about this six months ago, I felt compelled to close the book on the Patrick Dempsey/Tully’s debacle. Tully’s, a Seattle based coffee chain, had sought bankruptcy protection, but ultimately wound up auctioning off their assets in federal bankruptcy court back in January. Counted among the bidders for the 47 Tully’s stores were Starbucks and the Philippines based AgriNature. In a desire to save the jobs of nearly 500 employees, Dempsey and his group, Global Baristas LLC, raised over $9 million to buy the stores themselves.
The question now becomes whether or not the struggling chain will be able to recover. Interestingly enough, when Starbucks put in a bid to buy the stores, their original intent was to convert 25 of them into Starbucks stores, while the rest of them would have been closed. Additionally, AgriNature only wanted to buy the Tully’s name, so the prospect of a successful revival may in fact be a dubious one. At the very least, the actor’s victory came as something of an upset, as the combine bid from Starbuck and AgriNature had totalled $10.6 million while Global Baristas had raised $9.2 million.
Dempsey, who championed the movement to purchase the failing chain, had become enamored with Seattle after his tenure as doctor Derek Shepard or “McDreamy” on the Seattle based Grey’s Anatomy. His involvement in the effort to save the Tully’s stores had been called unfair by some of his opponents, who claimed that he made people believe that his company’s bid was favored. At the end of the day though, the sale was completed and the fate of Tully’s now lies in the steady hands of the Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital’s former Chief of Surgery. Despite whatever does wind up happening, I was happy to see an actor championing a worthy cause on behalf of the little guy and glad that the sale went through in the end. Who knows, maybe we’ll see them start drinking Tully’s coffee on Grey’s Anatomy from now on. Well, maybe not.