The Creamery never had particularly good coffee. What it did have was a perfect location at one of the technology industry’s most valuable intersections. The ramshackle café was in the start-up friendly SoMa district of San Francisco, across the street from the Caltrain station that ran commuters all the way down to San Jose at the southernmost tip of Silicon Valley.

That made it a favourite spot for venture capitalists visiting from Sand Hill Road who did not wish to waste precious time going too far into SoMa to meet prospective investors. Founded in 2008, the café soon became a San Francisco institution, even as hipper coffee chains, such as Philz, Blue Bottle and Sightglass, expanded across the city...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now