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Starbucks to Acquire Seattle Coffee Company

Starbucks Corporation announced that it is has entered into an agreement to acquire Seattle Coffee Company, which includes the Seattle’s Best Coffee (SBC) and Torrefazione Italia Coffee Brands from AFC Enterprises, Inc.

The company intends to further develop both brands and maintain the distinct coffee flavor profiles of SBC and TI. This transaction supports Starbucks’ long-term strategy to expand and build upon its leadership position in the super premium coffee segment within foodservice and grocery businesses by providing a multiple brand growth opportunity, states the company. Seattle Coffee Company has built a strong wholesale business with both the SBC and TI brands.

“Aquiring the SBC and TI brands provides us an opportunity to launch the next phase of our specialty coffee growth,” said Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman. “Both SBC and TI offer superb specialty coffees that are distinct from Starbucks flavor profiles. These brands will allow us to satisfy the desires of consumers with an affinity for the smooth flavors of SBC coffees and distinctive Italian recipes of Torrefazione Italia coffees, while focusing on expanding the demand for these types of specialty coffee.”

As part of the transaction, Starbucks will acquire Seattle Coffee Company’s subsidiaries, Seattle’s Best Coffee LLC and Torrefazione Italia LLC, comprised of 129 company-operated and franchised Seattle’s Best Coffee locations and 21 company-operated Torrefazione Italia locations in the U.S. and Canada.

“By joining Starbucks…we will be able to grow and expand our product lines into new markets and venues,” said Steve Schickler, president of Seattle Coffee Company.

The $72 million all-cash stock purchase transaction is expected to close by later this summer.

Moratorium on Storage of Coffee in Port of Miami Declared

The New York Board of Trade (NYBOT) recently announced the Warehouse and License Committee of its Coffee, Sugar & Cocoa Exchange, Inc. (CSCE) had determined that Exchange certificated coffee store at International Coffee Warehouse of Miami, Store 4, in the Port of Miami is not being stored in accordance with Coffee “C” Resolution No. 2 - Warehouse Procedures and Recordkeeping Requirements for the Storage of exchange Coffee.

The Committee has instituted a moratorium on any further certification of coffee stored at International Coffee Warehouse of Miami, Store 4, pending International’s efforts to bring their Store 4 into compliance with Exchange store rules. The Committee has determined that International has 60 days to bring the warehouse into compliance with Exchange storage rules at which time the Exchange will reinspect the warehouse.

The New York Board of Trade (NYBOT) is the parent company of the Coffee, Sugar and Cocoa Exchange, Inc. (CSCE) and the New York Cotton Exchange (NYCE). Information about the New York Board of Trade can be found at www.nybot.com.

Coffee Fest Las Vegas Awards Latte Art Competition Winner

Creative espresso extraction and preparation reached a new level at Coffee Fest Las Vegas. Sammy Piccolo from Caffe Artigiano of Vancouver, B.C., wowed judges in the Dillanos Free-Pour Latte Art Competition by pouring a crisp Rosetta leaf latte while wearing boxing gloves. Piccolo took home the $1,000 grand prize and can place his trophy next to co-worker Zack Zlatin, who won the title in the competition in Seattle this past fall by pouring a Rosetta leaf blindfolded. Another Caffe Artigiano team member, Adam Lolacher, took second place and a $500 prize in Las Vegas, while Tony Serrano from Late for the Train out of Flagstaff, Arizona came in third and was awarded $250 for his efforts.

GCA Votes on Plan of Merger with the NCA

The Green Coffee Association, Inc. (GCA), a green coffee trade group in the U.S., announced that at a Special Membership Meeting, the GCA membership voted against a merger with the National Coffee Association, Inc.

This Agreement and Plan of Merger was presented to the voting membership for approval and adoption and required an affirmative vote from two-thirds of its membership for approval.

The Green Coffee Association established in 1923 is the leading trade association dealing exclusively with green coffee in the United States.

Tea & Coffee - June/July, 2003


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