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Alterra Coffee Changes Name to Colectivo Coffee

Alterra Coffee Changes Name to Colectivo Coffee

After separating from Mars Drinks, Alterra changes its name

The new name references colorful, funky public transportation in Latin America.

The Milkwaukee favorite, Alterra Coffe,e is getting an alternative name.

Alterra Coffee Roasters Inc. is changing its name to Colectivo Coffee starting Monday, the company announced Sunday night. Co-founders and owners Ward Lincoln Fowler and Paul Miller will remain in control, according to JS Online. The owners emphasized that the quality of the coffee, food, people, and culture will all remain the same as before. The change of the name marks the end of a three-year relationship with Mars Drinks, a subsidiary of giant Mars Inc. Mars is distributing Alterra Cofefe Roasters brand in the United States, Canada, U.K., Germany, France, Korea, and Japan. The Milwaukee chain will stay local as Colectivo Coffee.

In a press release, the company explained that “Colectivo” is inspired by a Latin American word for artful buses used as transportation. It is a symbol for the brand and the experience the coffee provides customers.


Alterra name change to Colectivo has customers buzzing


Alterra through the years:
Since it first opened a kiosk in Bayshore mall in 1994, Alterra Coffee Roasters Inc. has expanded to 13 locations throughout central and southeastern Wisconsin..


Alterra Coffee changes name, splits with Mars

MILWAUKEE Alterra Coffee is changing its name and parting ways with Mars Inc., Alterra owners said Monday that nothing will change except for the company's name, which will now be Colectivo, inspired by the artsy buses used for public transportation in Latin America and the routine of everyday life.

"We've always been about celebrating the work we do," said Lincoln Fowler, one of Alterra's three founders. "It's a fabulous metaphor for our organization."

The name change is the result of the end of a three-year relationship with Mars Drinks, a subsidiary of Mars Inc. Fowler said it was mutually agreed that it was the right time to end that partnership and give up the Alterra name.

Fowler, his brother Ward Fowler and Paul Miller sold the name to Mars Drinks in 2010 for an undisclosed price and used the revenue to expand their coffee business. Mars distributes coffee globally under the Alterra name and will continue to do so.

"That was part of the concept from the very beginning. We knew when we originally did the transaction that the ultimate outcome would be that we would move forward as an independent company under a new name," Fowler said Monday.

The founders still own and operate the company and its 12 Wisconsin cafes, most located in the Milwaukee area. The owners began roasting coffee on the fifth floor of a warehouse near downtown Milwaukee in 1993. Its workforce has grown to 350 employees.

Colectivo has also renamed 11 of its coffee blends -- including Punch in the Face, which was renamed Maximilian -- and discontinued two others.

"Our organization is really built around change," Fowler said. "We are always looking at ways to change and improve what we do."

First published on July 29, 2013 / 12:40 PM

© 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


US – Milwaukee’s Alterra Coffee Roasters Inc. renames to “Colectivo Coffee”

MILWAUKEE – Alterra Coffee Roasters Inc. is renaming to COLECTIVO (co-lec-TEE-vo) COFFEE. The name change signifies the beginning of a new chapter for the locally owned and operated company and marks the end to a successful three-year relationship with Mars Drinks, a subsidiary of Mars, Incorporated.

The three original founders – Lincoln Fowler, Ward Fowler and Paul Miller –maintain full control of the new COLECTIVO business and its vision moving forward.

The founders sold the ALTERRA Coffee Roasters brand name – not the company – to Mars Drinks in 2010, allowing the locally built coffee icon to be taken global. The ALTERRA Coffee Roasters brand is now in distribution in the US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Korea and Japan thanks to Mars Drinks.

During that time, the cafes and the wholesale roasting business remained locally owned and have continued to operate independently, sharing the ALTERRA Coffee Roasters brand name only with Mars under a mutual agreement.

Renaming to COLECTIVO mutually completes the Fowlers and Miller’s involvement with the Mars organization. Lincoln Fowler states: “The ALTERRA® brand is going global thanks to Mars Drinks, while we chose to stay local.

Maintaining full control of our company and employees’ future was a priority in our deal with Mars.

At the start of our relationship with Mars Drinks, we decided to change our name in exchange for the long-term investment opportunity this transaction provided.

Mars now solely controls the ALTERRA Coffee Roasters brand name while we strike a new independent path as COLECTIVO.”

The name change will transition over the month of August and be completed by mid-September of this year.

The name change will affect all aspects of the local Alterra Coffee Roasters Inc. business, now COLECTIVO, including cafes, wholesale roasting, and retail presence.

All of these will operate as usual without interruption over the transition period. Mars Drinks will continue to expand their ALTERRA Coffee Roasters brand name globally.

Fowler continues: “We are very proud of what we have built and who has helped us build it over the last 20 years.

In reality nothing has changed except the name we call ourselves. While we fondly say goodbye to the ALTERRA name, we say hello to COLECTIVO and look forward to this new chapter in our business and our continued commitment to our customers, our employees and our community.”


Milwaukee’s Alterra Coffee Separates from Mars Inc. with Colectivo Name Change

Milwaukee’s Alterra Coffee is redefining its brand, beginning with a name change to Colectivo, a reference to buses found throughout Latin America.

The change comes after three years of brand identity issues surrounding Alterra’s relationship with the global food conglomerate Mars Inc., which purchased the Alterra name and some distribution rights in 2010. It’s also worth noting that Alterra is also the name of a capital investment firm that was acquired by Markel Corporation, a Virginia-based insurance holdings corporation, earlier this year.

The 19-year-old Milwaukee roastery and retail company remained locally owned and operated after the Mars deal, as it is now. But the deal allowed Alterra to greatly expand its presence in the Milwaukee area, and it opened its first Madison, Wisc., coffee shop earlier this year.

In a company announcement of the new branding, Alterra’s ownership credited the Mars deal with facilitating growth, but said simply, “we decided it was time for us to move on.”

Here is the full announcement:

We want to share some big news with you – we are changing our name to COLECTIVO (co-lec-TEE-vo) COFFEE! Our company is the same all your favorite people are still here ready to serve you. Our bakery still makes those amazing goodies you crave, and our roasting crew still finds and creates the coffee we’ve become famous for. In reality nothing has changed except the name we call ourselves.

Why are we changing our name? Great question. We were and are committed to growing our organization and creating opportunity for all of us. Making that happen takes resources. In 2010 we were presented with a great opportunity to strengthen our company and ensure we could grow and develop as we wanted, even during a period of economic uncertainty. We agreed to sell our name – not the company – to the Mars Corporation, retaining full control of our business. After three years of this relationship, we decided it was time for us to move on…thus the name change.

Alterra is a great name, and it is freighted with all the good stuff our organization has done and created over the past 20 years…but it is only a name (great as it is). The heart and soul of our company – the culture and the quality – remain. At the end of the day, our people are what make us great, and all of us are still here.

We value serving all of you and we thank you for all your support over the past 20 years. We hope we’ve earned your faith, and we ask you to extend a bit of that faith and trust us when we say we’re on the right track. Remember, the only thing that has changed is our name! We (Lincoln, Paul, and Ward) remain sole owners of our company and along with the rest of our co-workers are excited for this next chapter!

Hopefully, COLECTIVO will earn a place in your heart next to the name Alterra. We promise we’ll work our hardest to make that happen! Please feel free to reach out and ask us a question at [email protected]


Team Colectivo

During the Alterra-to-Colectivo transition, we learned the company did not also sell its mountain bike team to the Mars Company. It will stay local, just like baristas repeatedly assured us about our coffee last Monday. So naturally, the &ldquoAlterra Coffee Mountain Bike Team&rdquo has changed its name to Colectivo Coffee Mountain Bike Team and already had its new team kit ready to debut when the company announced its new name. In the past, the team has hosted rides like the Alterra Coffee Bean Classic (this year&rsquos ride is scheduled for the weekend of Aug. 17), which has featured 2012 U.S.&hellip

During the Alterra-to-Colectivo transition, we learned the company did not also sell its mountain bike team to the Mars Company. It will stay local, just like baristas repeatedly assured us about our coffee last Monday. So naturally, the &ldquoAlterra Coffee Mountain Bike Team&rdquo has changed its name to Colectivo Coffee Mountain Bike Team and already had its new team kit ready to debut when the company announced its new name.

In the past, the team has hosted rides like the Alterra Coffee Bean Classic (this year&rsquos ride is scheduled for the weekend of Aug. 17), which has featured 2012 U.S. Olympic team member Gwen Jorgensen.

The face of the team is at left, and adorns the new jerseys. It’s a little spookier than the previous orange attire, but we like to think it’s the face of someone who just imbibed a 16 oz. coffee and then had to ride a bike for many miles.

If you missed the team&rsquos inaugural ride from Colectivo&rsquos Prospect location last Thursday, check them out this week, as the rebranded team plans to roll through De La Buena&rsquos performance at Thursday&rsquos Musica del Lago at the Colectivo Lakefront location (1701 N. Lincoln Memorial Dr.).


Alterra changes name to Colectivo

Milwaukee-based coffee retailer Alterra Coffee Roasters Inc. announced that it is changing its name to Colectivo Coffee.

The name change to Colectivo (co-lec-TEE-vo) completes the company’s three-year relationship with Mars Drinks, a subsidiary of Mars Inc., which purchased the Alterra Coffee Roasters brand name &ndash but not the company &ndash in 2010.

Alterra’s three founders and owners &ndash Lincoln Fowler, Ward Fowler and Paul Miller &ndash maintain full control of the new Colectivo business going forward.

“The Alterra brand is going global thanks to Mars Drinks, while we chose to stay local,” said Lincoln Fowler. “Maintaining full control of our company and employees’ future was a priority in our deal with Mars. At the start of our relationship with Mars Drinks, we decided to change our name in exchange for the long-term investment opportunity this transaction provided. Mars now solely controls the Alterra Coffee Roasters brand name while we strike a new independent path as Colectivo.”

The name change will affect all aspects of the business, including cafes, wholesale roasting, and retail presence. All of these will operate as usual without interruption over the transition period, which will be completed by mid-September. Mars Drinks will continue to expand their Alterra Coffee Roasters brand name globally.

The founders announced the name change to their 350 employees at a staff meeting at The Pabst Theater on Sunday night.


Alterra Coffee rebrands itself as Colectivo Mars still owns the brand name

MILWAUKEE – Alterra Coffee is changing its name and parting ways with Mars, Inc.

Alterra owners said Monday that nothing will change except for the company’s name, which will now be Colectivo, inspired by the artsy buses used for public transportation in Latin America and the routine of everyday life.

“We’ve always been about celebrating the work we do,” said Lincoln Fowler, one of Alterra’s three founders. “It’s a fabulous metaphor for our organization.”

The name change is the result of the end of a three-year relationship with Mars Drinks, a subsidiary of Mars Inc. Fowler said it was mutually agreed that it was the right time to end that partnership and give up the Alterra name.

Fowler, his brother Ward Fowler and Paul Miller sold the name to Mars Drinks in 2010 for an undisclosed price and used the revenue to expand their coffee business. Mars distributes coffee globally under the Alterra name and will continue to do so.

“That was part of the concept from the very beginning. We knew when we originally did the transaction that the ultimate outcome would be that we would move forward as an independent company under a new name,” Fowler said Monday.

The founders still own and operate the company and its 12 Wisconsin cafes, most located in the Milwaukee area. The owners began roasting coffee on the fifth floor of a warehouse near downtown Milwaukee in 1993. Its workforce has grown to 350 employees.

Colectivo has also renamed 11 of its coffee blends — including Punch in the Face, which was renamed Maximilian — and discontinued 2 others.

“Our organization is really built around change,” Fowler said. “We are always looking at ways to change and improve what we do.”


Mars banks on Alterra name and symbolism

By now, every latte-sipping coffee drinker in Milwaukee knows that Alterra, the thriving local roasting operation and cafe chain, has sold its name to Mars Inc. and will become Colectivo.

The change springs from a deal the companies struck three years ago in which it's pretty clear what Alterra got &mdash cash. The proceeds have helped Alterra keep growing with locations such as the big and sleek cafe (assessed value: $2.4 million) that opened last August in Bay View.

What, though, was in it for Mars?

"Fundamentally," Alterra co-owner Lincoln Fowler said last week, "we sold the seven letters that make up the name Alterra."

But it's probably not so much the Alterra name Mars wanted. It's the Alterra story.

Mars is huge &mdash $33 billion in annual sales, 72,000 employees &mdash and produces such household-name confections as M&M's, Snickers and Wrigley's gum.

The company's drinks unit acquired the Alterra brand to stamp it on the single-serve coffee packets Mars sells at its Flavia brewers in offices nationwide. This, too, is big business. Trade journal Automatic Merchandiser estimates that Mars has placed some 484,000 Flavia machines across the country.

To the vast majority of cubicle workers outside Wisconsin who haven't been to one of the Milwaukee cafes or bought a pound of French Roast or Breakfast Blend, Alterra would be just another word. A company with the resources of Mars surely could concoct a name equally appealing.

But in buying the Alterra name, Mars can say, as it does on its website, that its coffee was born in Milwaukee in 1993 when three friends, "working nights while keeping their daytime businesses afloat," needed a strong brew.

"In order to get it," the website declares, next to a thumbnail photo of the popular and historic lakefront cafe Fowler and his partners opened in 2002, "they decided that they had to roast their own &mdash and ALTERRA&trade was born!"

That's the sort of yarn you can't simply invent and feed to consumers.

"Absolutely," said Gary Mueller, managing partner and creative director at Milwaukee-area advertising agency BVK. "A brand is built on storytelling. It's built on an honest, authentic portrayal of who they are and what they stand for. When you try to make something like that up, consumers can see that a mile away."

Syed Akhter, a marketing professor at Marquette University, agreed.

For Mars, he said, identifying its coffee with a little outfit started by three guys in Milwaukee has power. Consumers can view big companies as impersonal, particularly as the largest of them extend worldwide, Akhter said.

"As you're getting more and more globalized, then we need some local identity, some local stories, to create a point of differentiation," he said.

"A brand has to have a story."

Nor does it matter, Akhter said, that while Mars points to the Milwaukee roots of Alterra, the company is sourcing and producing "Alterra" coffee on its own.

"They can build on that story," he said. " . The coffee does not have to come from Milwaukee."

There's some dispute over whether the Alterra-Mars deal included more than selling the brand.

Fowler said that his firm also did consulting for Mars on sourcing and roasting. Mars Drinks spokeswoman Karen Noonan said her understanding was that the only consulting was "in so far as just who they are and who their brand is, but not consulting in as far as how do you blend coffee or any of those kind of things."

In seeking a relationship with Alterra, Mars wanted "a brand whose brand story we believed in and matched our principles as a business," Noonan said.

"Its about the brand," she said, "the brand and the story and being able to pull that into our portfolio and tell that story and kind of basically transfer that story into our identity as well."


ALTERRA Coffee Roasters Changes Name To COLECTIVO Coffee

Milwaukee, Wis.’s ALTERRA Coffee Roasters Inc. has announced it is renaming itself COLECTIVO™ COFFEE. All cafe, wholesale and retail business which has been known as ALTERRA Coffee Roasters will now be known as COLECTIVO.

ALTERRA® coffee will still be available to offices through the Mars Drinks single-serve system, according to the release, and will continue to be distributed in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany, France, Korea and Japan.

Mars Drinks will continue to take the ALTERRA brand global by sharing the exceptional range of ALTERRA Coffees with coffee drinkers across the globe in the office environment. COLECTIVO, the independently owned and operated coffee roaster will continue its business as usual, striking a new path with the new COLECTIVO name.


Watch the video: Alterra Coffee changes their name to Colectivo (October 2021).