Our Story

As one of the oldest coffee & tea purveyors and a Bay Area institution, we at Peerless are proud to share our story.

John and Natalie Vukasin, 1920

As a Yugoslavian immigrant settling in Oakland in 1920, John Vukasin had a dream to establish a custom gourmet coffee roaster that combined European style coffees with guaranteed freshness and impeccable service. In 1924, he created the Peerless Coffee Company to supply local hotels and restaurants with only the highest quality of roasted coffees. Soon, his reputation for perfection spread, making Peerless Coffee much sought after by the restaurant and retail industry throughout the East Bay. Along with its unparalleled quality, Peerless Coffee Company was backed by a dedicated team of roasters and packers who prided themselves on first-rate customer service. This combination of top-notch product and outstanding service continues to be the hallmark of the Peerless Coffee & Tea.

Original Store:
Washington & 9th St. Oakland, Ca.
From 1924 to 1975

Originally located at Washington and 9th Streets in Oakland, the Peerless retail store attracted thousands of regular customers for its wide selection of coffees from around the world.

John Vukasin’s son, George, joined the company in 1957, learning every aspect of the business through experience. George inherited his father’s work ethic, and contributed his own business talent. After John retired, George took the helm of the family business and welcomed his wife Sonja and his children George Vukasin Jr. and Kristina Brouhard into the family venture.

Today George Jr. and Kristina are the 3rd generation of Vukasin’s to run this truly family business.

The steady expansion of the company in the 1960′s and 1970′s, and the increased demand to serve the booming interest in gourmet coffee led to a move of the Peerless roasting and retail facilities to larger quarters on Oak Street, near Jack London Square, where we remain to this day.

Like fine wine grapes, coffee comes in many varietals-each with its own characteristics that are enhanced by the correct roasting. This art of specialized roasting & blending is a practice few specialty roasters maintain. It requires extensive knowledge and a high level of attention to detail with each type of bean. This art has been passed down within the family and remains a hallmark of Peerless Coffee & Tea.