Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Coffee Addicts - Read This and Weep - Caribou Backed by 1st Islamic Investment Bank

Caribou won't sell pork, beer or lottery tickets
From the Strib:
Porn, pork and Pabst -- you're safe from them at Caribou Coffee. In an SEC filing last week for its initial stock offering, the Brooklyn Center-based coffeehouse chain noted that it operates its business according to the Islamic principles known as Shari'ah.

I found this information on Snopes although the info is from 2002. Caribou originally was a Minneapolis based company. I do know they had significant financial issues mostly due to management issues, hence the need to sell the company. Here's the part of this that does somewhat surprise me.

From Snopes:
So, in December 2000, Caribou Coffee Company, Inc. announced that it was selling a 70% stake (later to become an 87.8%) to Atlanta-based Crescent Capital, a deep-pockets investor backed by First Islamic Investment Bank of Bahrain for $80 million; founders John and Kim Puckett left the board, but CEO Don Dempsey stayed on to run the company for the new owners.

From a previous correspondence I had with Monsour Ijaz I could have sworn his email showed his affiliation with Crescent Capital. I have an immense amount of respect for Monsour after hearing an extensive interview he did with Dennis Prager well over a year ago. After the interview, I emailed Monsour asking some questions in which he responded back to me which surprised me.

Anyway, more from Snopes:
The protest was that the chairman of the First Islamic Investment Bank's supervisory board (which advises First Islamic on issues of Islamic law regarding its investments) was also on the supervisory board of the Union for Good, a coalition of charities (such as the London-based Interpal) providing various means of relief to Palestinians.

I'm still not sure whether buying Caribou's products will inadvertantly support Palestinian terror groups. Hopefully not, especially if Monsour is connected with Crescent.

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