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`Grey's Anatomy' actor Dempsey to complete Tully's purchase

Ronald Tan

If all goes according to plan, Tully’s will have a new celebrity owner come Monday. That’s when actor Patrick Dempsey’s investment group is set to complete its purchase of the struggling coffee chain out of bankruptcy. 

Dempsey’s purchase of Tully’s won approval from a bankruptcy judge in January, but it’s taken a while to close the deal. One big reason had to do with Boeing. Dempsey had to negotiate a new agreement with the aerospace giant for the 13 Tully’s coffee shops inside Boeing facilities.

But now he’s done that, and it looks likely that the "Grey’s Anatomy" star known as McDreamy will take control of the 48 Tully’s shops on Monday.

Former Starbucks President Howard Behar says Tully’s needs to focus on setting itself apart and not try to duplicate Starbucks.

"Who are you, and why should I go to you aside from the fact that you sell coffee?" Behar said. "There’s lots of places that sell coffee."

Behar says treating employees well is one of the biggest keys to success. Dempsey has promised to keep Tully’s staff in place. That was one reason the judge allowed Dempsey to buy Tully’s instead of a competing offer from a group led by Starbucks. 

In July 2017, Ashley Gross became KNKX's youth and education reporter after years of covering the business and labor beat. She joined the station in May 2012 and previously worked five years at WBEZ in Chicago, where she reported on business and the economy. Her work telling the human side of the mortgage crisis garnered awards from the Illinois Associated Press and the Chicago Headline Club. She's also reported for the Alaska Public Radio Network in Anchorage and for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.