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Sep, 25 2007

Biyani plans to tie-up with US chain Coffee Bean

After breaking the partnership plan with premium coffee retailer Starbucks, Pantaloon Retail is brewing a fresh alliance with California-based coffee retail chain The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

After breaking the partnership plan with premium coffee retailer Starbucks, Pantaloon Retail is brewing a fresh alliance with California-based coffee retail chain The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. The deal has been signed with the coffee chain through its joint venture company Blue Foods. This will be the master franchisee for the coffee retailer. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is owned and operated by International Coffee & Tea and is one of the oldest and largest privately-held chain of specialty coffee and tea stores. Coffee Bean stores differ from other chains, such as Starbucks, in their broad selection of tea. Blue Foods was formed in 2006 to set up food courts and specialty restaurants across the country. The portfolio of Coffee Beans would be customised to suit Indian tastes. The first Coffee Beans outlets will come up in Noida, Hyderabad and several other premium locations. Coffee Bean operates and franchises more than 390 shops under The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. The outlets, found mostly in California and in about a dozen foreign countries, feature a variety of fresh roasted coffees and specialty teas, along with baked goods and blended ice drinks. More than 240 locations are company-owned while the rest are franchised in 15 countries. Singaporean entrepreneurs Sunny Sassoon and his brother Victor, along with investor Severin Wunderman, bought the company in 1998. Sunny Sassoon is currently the CEO. Coffee retailing is expected to grow over 30% in the next couple of years backed by patronage from consumers in the 18-25 age bracket with higher disposable incomes. Industry estimates place the organised coffee retail business in India at more than $150 million.

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