Skip navigation
Umami Burger CEO to move to Peet’s Coffee & Tea

Umami Burger CEO to move to Peet’s Coffee & Tea

Paul Clayton to head coffee company’s retail business

Umami Burger CEO Paul Clayton is joining Peet’s Coffee & Tea in early November as president, retail, the Emeryville, Calif.-based coffee company said Thursday.

In the position, Clayton will lead Peet’s retail business, including 237 company-owned stores across the U.S. He will oversee store and people operations, store design, merchandising, pricing, real estate and property development. He will report to Peet’s’ president and CEO Dave Burwick.

Gregg Frazier, Umami Burger’s vice president of operations, will lead day-to-day affairs for the casual-dining burger chain until a new CEO is named, the company said.

Paul Clayton. Photo: Peet's
Paul Clayton

In a statement, Umami Restaurant Group board members thanked Clayton for his work, saying he led efforts to strengthen Umami’s brand and operations, setting the stage for continued growth. “The company is thankful for everything Paul has done and wishes him well in his future endeavors,” the statement said.

Clayton has helmed 24-unit Umami Burger chain, based in Los Angeles, since July 2014. Prior to that, he held leadership roles at a variety of companies, including Meineke Car Centers and Palm Foods.

From 2000 to 2008, he was president and CEO of the Jamba Juice smoothie chain. He began his career in marketing and general management at Burger King.

“We are extremely excited and fortunate to welcome Paul to the Peet’s family,” said Burwick in a statement. “With his strong leadership skills and proven track record of growing retail concepts ranging from QSR to specialty to full service and non food, Paul will play a critical role leading our retail business as we continue to grow.”

Earlier this month, Peet’s agreed to acquire premium coffee roaster and retailer Stumptown Coffee Roasters. The deal, scheduled to close in the fourth quarter, will bring another coffee brand into the portfolio of JAB Holding Co., which acquired Peet’s in 2012. 

Peet’s has tripled its growth rate over the past few years, driven by expansion into markets like Chicago and Washington, D.C., as well as growth with its K-Cup products and the acquisition of the Mighty Leaf Tea brand last year.

Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected]
Follow her on Twitter @livetodineout

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.