Celebrating Ten Years at the Ferry Building

A decade of deliciousness at our third-oldest cafe

Photo Credit: Lincoln Lighthill for Jensen Architects

Photo Credit: Lincoln Lighthill for Jensen Architects

When our founder, James Freeman, started selling his handmade coffees at the Ferry Building farmers’ market back in 2003, it was the realization of what he calls “a long-held dream.” He wanted more than to have his own business. In fact, he says, “I wanted to knock people's socks off with the best coffee they had ever tasted.”

Surrounded by his fellow strivers, second-chancers, and delvers in one of San Francisco’s most recognizable landmarks, James was laying the foundation for what has since become a brick-and-mortar institution. In 2009, six years after his first early morning as a farmers’ market vendor, Blue Bottle Coffee’s Ferry Building cafe opened among a vibrant community of local farmers, artisans, and independently owned food businesses. Over the past ten years, it’s proven to be a perfect fit.

Once referred to as the “undisputed champion of lines” by Eater, devotees are more than happy to queue up for their coffees, but Ferry Building loyalists are behind the bar, too. Although a decade is a long time to remain at any job, a handful of the original Ferry Building cafe crew have stayed on with Blue Bottle, growing as we have grown over more than fifteen years.

With lines out the door from open to close, the Ferry Building cafe has an undeniable allure for guests and Blue Bottlers alike. “It’s so neat to meet the people who come from all over the world,” says former Ferry Building barista (and current Guest Experience Specialist) Serah Giarrusso.

The ebb and flow of baristas, food offerings (Coffee Tech Manager Erica Green recalls with fondness our Miette cookies, Ciao Bella waffle cones, Acme bread, and of course our famous Liège wafels, to name a few), and idiosyncrasies, like the cafe’s unofficial mascot, Sweatpants the Pigeon, has made the Ferry Building a special place for Blue Bottlers and the people they serve.

Thank you for ten years, fellow coffee lovers. Here’s to many more of enjoying the world’s finest coffees sitting on the dock of the Bay.

Not in the Bay Area? Have no fear—there may well be a cafe near you. No matter where you are, you can taste our very first blend, the angelic Alma Viva, born in the Bay.