At the Tully's headquarters in Seattle, the company roasts all its coffee in two circa 1950 cast-iron roasters, 15 hours a day, four days...

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At the Tully’s headquarters in Seattle, the company roasts all its coffee in two circa 1950 cast-iron roasters, 15 hours a day, four days a week.

“We’re this small, little hand-crafted gem in the Pacific Northwest,” said John Dresel, the company’s president and chief operating officer. “That’s why our coffee is desired.”

Since Dresel took the helm a year ago, he has sought to recast the company’s image as a kinder, gentler specialty-coffee company.

Tully’s, which opened its first location here in 1992, once had its sights on being as large as Starbucks — even opening stores adjacent to its cross-town rival in the same way Burger King once positioned its fast-food restaurants near McDonald’s.

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If the company’s management spoke openly about wrestling the giant mermaid then, Dresel now speaks of Tully’s as a boutique, hand-crafted roaster that wants nothing more than to champion specialty-coffee.

“We’re proud of it,” said Dresel, a former Seattle SuperSonics executive. “We’re proud of everyone who’s in it. There’s room for more than one.”

Tully’s reported a second-quarter profit of $20 million, or 39 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $285,000, or 2 cents per share, a year ago. The company Wednesday filed its quarterly financial results with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Sales, meanwhile, rose 33.1 percent to $17.8 million on the strength of its wholesale business.

Wholesale division sales rose 29.7 percent to $3.1 million for the quarter, as it sold more Tully’s-branded coffee products to supermarkets and food-service outlets.

Dresel said its coffee its now outselling all other brands at QFC supermarkets.

However, its retail-division sales dipped to $9.6 million for the quarter, a 1.4 percent decline for stores open at least a year.

Tully’s stock is not publicly traded, but it must report to the SEC because it has more than 500 stockholders and more than $10 million in assets.

While the company reported its first-ever quarterly profit, all of that gain came from selling the rights to operate its retail stores in Japan.

Tully’s in August sold its Japanese trademarks and intellectual property assets to licensee, Foodx Globe, for $17.5 million.

The company plans to use the infusion of cash to pay off long-term debt and open more retail locations, said Dresel.

He said the company’s strategy is to get 1 percent better at 100 different things.

“Our philosophy is more about ourselves,” Dresel said. “We’ve got our own work to do.”

Monica Soto Ouchi: 206-515-5632 or msoto@seattletimes.com