Patrick Dempsey is leading a group of investors to buy Tully's Coffee, a 20-year-old coffee chain that has become a Seattle icon, out of bankruptcy. The "Grey's Anatomy" actor is aiming to potentially save 500 jobs with the buyout, saying it's one of his ways to give back to his favorite city.
"I've always loved this city, and with the purchase of Tully's Coffee, I plan to spend a lot of time in Seattle and the stores connecting with the community and growing the Tully's brand," he explains in a statement. "Seattle may be my home away from home in the very near future."
Tully's filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October and subsequently closed 19 unprofitable locations. Dempsey is not the only one who wants to buy the coffee chain as Baristas Coffee Co. which owns six drive-thru locations in Seattle has also offered a deal to the company.
CEO Barry Henthorn says they won't try to change Tully's into Baristas. "Tully's will remain Tully's," he states, adding they want "to help Tully's grow and do what it does well." He continues, "They did not sacrifice the quality of their product to meet their financial challenges, and I think that's pretty admirable."
Dempsey himself doesn't divulge details of his bid, but he and his group are expected to make a formal offer on Thursday, December 27 with an auction to follow on January 3. "We believe it's a very competitive bid, and we're optimistic," says Jane Pearson who represents the group.
It's not Dempsey's first effort to help the Seattle community. The Dr. Derek Shepherd depicter was honored by the King County Council two years ago for his contribution to raise fund for Seattle Children's Hospital.
Meanwhile, Tully's has asked approval from court to borrow more money while the sale is being finalized. The company says they could be forced to stop operation if they don't get help.