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Coffee Fest News

Coffee Fest concluded its 50th show in Washington, D.C., on February 17, adding yet another successful event to its extensive resume of shows that combine retailer education and networking with an easy-to-do business trade show floor that keeps coffee retail shops brewing business year round.

  “As coffee consumers become increasingly more sophisticated, Coffee Fest is here to serve their needs via the retailer that brews their morning cup,” says David Heilbrunn, Coffee Fest show manager.

  Counting more than 3,000 attendees and 241 exhibitor booths, Coffee Fest offered a three-day venue that provided retailers with opportunities to learn, observe and absorb the depth of the coffee industry from growing to buying, roasting to brewing and selling to serving - and all that comes in between.

Forty baristas from around the country gathered at Coffee Fest for the Millrock Free Pour Latte Art Championship and pulled shots, steamed milk and, ever so carefully, created the best cremas.

Coffee Fest sets sail for Kona, Hawaii, for its first show off the mainland on June 6-8, 2008. Coffee Fest Hawaii intends to provide an opportunity to enjoy a firsthand experience at a coffee plantation - from viewing coffee trees to observing the wet and dry milling processes in addition to Coffee Fest’s standard trade show offerings. The show will take place at Hilton Waikoloa on the island of Hawai’i. Setting their sights even further, Coffee Fest extends its reach globally with a show in Hong Kong, November 7-9, 2008.

For more information, www.coffeefest.com or +1 (425) 238-5058, X123.

SCAA Conference’s Retail Lessons

The Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) is helping coffee industry professionals, coffee and tea retailers and coffeehouses heat up their businesses. At its upcoming 20th Annual Conference & Exhibition, May 2 - 5 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, SCAA and an extensive roster of coffee retail experts, will present on such topics as: art and science of the perfect cup; creating the right coffeehouse ambiance; building a coffee community at a coffeehouse; selling tea in a coffee world; and 10 essential steps all new retailers must execute to compete in retail coffee in 2008.

“Selling great specialty coffee is paramount for any coffee retailer, but there’s a lot more to it if you want to run a flourishing and profitable business,” said Ric Rhinehart, SCAA executive director. “SCAA’s Retail Track helps guide today’s coffee retailer - from the basics and beyond - -to ensure success in a competitive market.”

The Retail Track is just one of the many educational highlights at SCAA’s 20th Annual Conference & Exhibition. The conference features in-depth educational sessions covering a variety of specialty coffee topics, hundreds of exhibit booths, the U.S. Barista Championship and the Coffee of the Year Competition.

Complete details for SCAA’s 20th Annual Conference & Exhibition are available at conference.scaa.org. For a brochure, call +1(562) 624-4100 or e-mail coffee@scaa.org.

Barnie’s Coffee & Tea Sold to Founder

Barnie’s Coffee & Tea Company was recently purchased by founder Phil Jones and entrepreneur Jim Pugh.

Jones founded Barnie’s Coffee Tea Co. in 1980, built it into a successful national network and later sold the company to Sara Lee Corp. Today, Jones returns as Barnie’s president and CEO. Pugh, chairman of Epoch Properties, Inc. will serve as chairman of Barnie’s. The investment team purchased the company from an ownership group controlled by Miami banker Neil Leach.

“Neil has done a fantastic job of guiding the company through a very competitive environment,” Jones said. “I’m coming back because I absolutely love this business! I have the energy and focus only a founder can bring to a company.”

Immediate plans for Barnie’s call for a continuing focus on the sale of the highest-quality coffees and teas in the Barnie’s store locations, as well as in a variety of distribution venues. Pugh reaffirmed the company’s commitment to quality customer service, quality of coffee and tea and quality of relationships with Barnie’s employees and the company’s family of franchise owners.

For more information, visit www.barniescoffee.com or email: customerservice@barniescoffee.com.

To submit a press release or for further information on Tea & Coffee's Trade News, please contact editor@teaandcoffee.net.

Tea & Coffee - April, 2008

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