Milwaukee’s Alterra Coffee changes name to Colectivo Coffee

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) --  Alterra Coffee Roasters Inc. is renaming to Colectivo 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.

"Three years ago we did a deal with Mars which was a great deal for our company. It gave us a tremendous amount of resources that helped us move forward and create opportunity," explained co-founder Lincoln Fowler, "Now we can go back to independent locally owned company we were before."

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

Colectivo Coffee

Colectivo Coffee

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 .

"People are going to figure out that although the name changed that’s the only thing that changed," said Fowler.

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 Fowler's 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.”

Fowler says the name “Colectivo” came from the buses in Central and South America. “Because of all the coffee we source come from central and South America, and because our organization values work,” he said, “we felt ‘Colectivo’ was emblematic of not only the place where our coffee comes from but the work we all do.”