Madcap Coffee Company is beginning an expansion in northern Michigan with the acquisition of a café in Leland.
As part of the brand’s regional growth and expansion strategy, Grand Rapids-based Madcap Coffee Company said Thursday, Sept. 16, it acquired Leland-based Blue Boat Coffee. Blue Boat is the award-winning specialty coffee roaster’s fourth café location in Michigan and its first in Leelanau County.
Prior to Madcap’s acquisition, Blue Boat — the Fishtown-adjacent café and coffee destination known for its blue to-go cups and its popularity with locals and vacationers in Leland — was a wholesale partner of Madcap Coffee Company. Since opening in 2014, the café has served exclusively Madcap coffee and sold the roaster’s whole bean coffee to customers. Blue Boat staff also underwent regular barista training and coffee education with Madcap’s in-house experts each season.
Since April 2019, the café had been owned and operated by Leland resident Susan Kurnick.
“As both a fan and loyal wholesale partner to Madcap Coffee, when I made the decision to sell, they were the logical choice to buy Blue Boat,” Kurnick said. “Madcap’s reputation for premium coffee and excellent hospitality helped us build Blue Boat into what it is today. I’m so pleased to pass this torch and welcome the brand into Leland and our small business community.”
Madcap took ownership of Blue Boat Coffee and its N. Main Street café space on Aug. 23 and will continue to operate the café with its current staff and menu through the end of 2021. A site development plan for the winter off season will see Madcap’s operational support, equipment and branding introduced to the space, with a target reopening set for March 2022.
The acquisition is part of Madcap Coffee’s ongoing growth strategy with a focus on building brand awareness through owned retail locations, intimate café footprints, and broader wholesale distribution in northern Michigan and the Leelanau Peninsula.
“We are thrilled to officially welcome Blue Boat Coffee and its staff into the Madcap Coffee family,” said Trevor Corlett, Madcap founder and co-CEO. “Blue Boat’s dedication to community and specialty coffee these past eight years helped introduce Madcap to thousands of new consumers and elevated our reputation in the process. We look forward to sharing our coffee and values with this community while building meaningful, long-term relationships with the residents of Leland and all of Leelanau County.”