The “Philz Effect”

Maybe it’s the precision of the pouring method that makes it so appealing to tech workers: an exactingly timed drip technique complete with specialized hardware. Or perhaps it’s the exotic blends, crafted over years, through prodigious R&D. Many say it’s the kick of caffeine combined with a swirl of unapologetically sweet cream.

Whatever the reason, Philz Coffee enjoys a cult-like popularity, particularly among the tech set. After springing up, almost symbiotically, wherever the new economy is booming, Philz is now coming to downtown San Mateo.

The origin of Philz Coffee is humble: a corner grocery store in San Francisco’s Mission. Philz founder Phil Jaber was known in the neighborhood as the kind of guy who would hold your house-keys for an out-of-town visitor if you weren’t going to make it home in time to greet your guest. Over the years, he was also perfecting a wildly successful blend of coffee.

PhilPours (Founder Phil Jaber pours; image courtesy Creative Commons)

Since its founding in 2003, Philz has grown into a chain with shops everywhere from the Facebook campus to the tech hub of Santa Monica Boulevard. The San Mateo location will be its 17th and largest shop, filling 3,500 square feet at 113 South B St.

Which begs the question, is Philz presence in San Mateo the harbinger of a tech explosion? Call it the Philz effect. With outposts in Palo Alto, Cupertino, downtown San Jose and San Francisco’s Mission Bay, Philz shops seem almost mapped along corridors poised for big tech growth.

Like the “Whole Foods effect” and the “Starbucks effect,” both coined for the economic development impacts those stores brought with them, the “Philz effect” might now be underway in San Mateo. With Draper University and its next gen techpreneurs just down the street from Philz, San Mateo is fertile ground for the innovators that seem to follow the popular coffee shops.

As for what’s to come for San Mateo once Philz moves in, District Manager Rob George keeps it simple. “I think downtown San Mateo is just an amazing, thriving, growing downtown, it’s just a really cool downtown.”

*Top image courtesy Creative Commons

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