Emeryville, Calif.-based coffee and tea chain Peet’s Coffee & Tea announced its first major retail launch in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. The company opened its flagship Washington, D.C., location on April 7 and will open 22 more stores in a phased rollout across the market this year. The expansion will create approximately 350 local jobs and raise the chain’s total store count to 300 stores, the company says. Following the expansion, Washington, D.C., will be the company’s second-largest retail market, second to California, and its biggest East Coast retail footprint, it says.

“This is an exciting time in Peet’s history as Washington, D.C., will officially become our second-biggest home outside of California,” said Dave Burwick, president and chief executive officer of Peet’s Coffee & Tea, in a statement. “We have a strong following of loyal fans, known as ‘Peetniks,’ in the Washington, D.C., community that know and love us. We couldn’t be more pleased to bring the Peet’s brand to life for them and also introduce more fans to our premium coffee experience.”

In an effort to support the local community in Washington, D.C., Peet’s is partnering with local non-profit organization 826DC to provide dedicated store space for student tutoring sessions and writing workshops. In addition, Peet’s is now the new, official coffee of local Major League Baseball team the Washington Nationals.

As part of this partnership, Peet’s Coffee & Tea products will be served at the Nationals Park in Nats Dog stands, on premium club levels, and during all non-game catered events at the park. Peet’s also will provide free samples and coupons from its mobile barista truck outside the park on April 19 and May 7, 16 and 17.
Peet’s also is partnering with local bakeries Baguette Republic and Hawthorne Fine Breakfast Pastry to provide fresh-baked items every day in its stores. The Washington, D.C., locations also will serve fresh food items, including salads, sandwiches, and fruit-and-cheese plates that are made locally and delivered fresh daily.

The new Washington, D.C., stores will be uniquely designed to take the coffee shop experience to a higher standard, the company says. For example, its flagship Washington, D.C., location at 1701 Pennsylvania Ave., will reflect a contemporary environment, using locally specific design elements that celebrate the spirit of the neighborhood along with imagery adorning the walls that chronicle Peet’s history, it says.

This announcement comes a few months after the company opened a new flagship store in San Francisco’s Marina District at 2080 Chestnut St. The San Francisco flagship takes Peet’s store experience offers a fresh, contemporary design in a local, historic space true to its Northern California heritage, the company said back in January.