Hawaii's Largest Grocer Percolates With Branded Coffee Retailer

HONOLULU -- Hawaii's biggest supermarket operator said late last week that it plans to roll out 15 The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf units at both freestanding locations and inside its Foodland grocery stores in the state, according to the Honolulu Advertiser.

The Sullivan Family of Cos., which operates Foodland Super Market, Ltd., has signed a franchise agreement with Los Angeles-based coffeehouse chain International Coffee & Tea LLC. The Starbucks rival currently has about 315 stores in the western United States and 10 other countries. "We are always looking for new ways to enhance our offerings to customers," Sullivan Cos. chairwoman and c.e.o. Jenai Sullivan Wall told the Advertiser.

Starbucks itself has three franchise locations inside Foodland stores, in Pupukea on the island of O'ahu, and in Pukalani and Lahaina on the island of Maui. Wall explained that since Foodland has leases with Starbucks, there are no immediate plans to convert those locations to The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf outlets.

As well as 32 varieties of Arabica coffee roasted by International Coffee & Tea in California, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf stores will include an assortment of full-leaf teas and blended beverages, and Foodland is in the process of creating fresh baked goods, light entrees, and other food products to sell at those locations. Although Sullivan Cos.'s aim is to open the first The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf store this July, specific locations haven't been chosen yet.

Sullivan Cos. initially wanted to start its own coffee business as a way of adding value to the Foodland shopping experience, but opted instead to work with an established partner.

Additionally, International Coffee & Tea recently said it would open over 20 cafes inside locations of Compton, Calif.-based Ralphs.

Sullivan Cos. operates approximately 100 retail stores in Hawaii and the mainland United States, among them 29 supermarkets under the Foodland and Sack N Save banners.
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