Peet’s Coffee Store Manager Matt Borello helps customers at the cafe’s space at 88 Throckmorton Ave. in Mill Valley.


More than almost any other longtime downtown Mill Valley institution, the customers of Peet’s Coffee & Tea aren’t exactly known for embracing wholesale change. Heck, the beloved bench outside Peet’s at 88 Throckmorton Ave. was taken away for a couple of days late last year and an online near-riot ensued, complete with hashtags like #BringBackTheBench … #forPeetsSake.

So when Peet’s ​Store Manager Matt Borello got the long-awaited green light in late 2017 to do some interior improvements to the landmark community gathering space at 88 Throckmorton, his excitement was mixed with slight trepidation for the ensuing reaction from the longtime loyal customers of the cafe, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in Mill Valley in 2017.

​”I really didn’t know what to expect,” he says. “I knew that we needed to update the space and make it more inviting and lively and fun, but I also respect our customers and didn’t want to anyone to be unhappy about it.”

The changes were significant, with new lighting and a lighter-and-brighter coat of paint throughout the space. The small circular tables were replaced with a larger, high communal table, freeing up for a few more seats and a generally more open floor plan. There were some expected grumbles, which Borello says he’s open-minded about, but overall the changes have been a boon for the cafe in the ever-crowded coffee landscape in Mill Valley.

“It’s had an overwhelmingly positive impact for us in terms of our customers’ reaction and just overall business for the past two months,” Borello says. “It’s also just really made the space more lively and gotten some new people to stop in to check us out. We’re really excited.”

The 411: Peet’s Coffee & Tea is at 88 Throckmorton Avenue.