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Cafe2U: Growing As A Network

Thursday, May 08, 2014

A Brief History of Coffee Culture

Coffee has been around for more than 700 hundred years. It took a few hundred years more, and then the world's first coffee houses started to appear (it was 1652 before England got its first coffee house). Cafes soon became a common meeting place and social hotspot. The origins of more modern coffee shops are usually attributed to the rise of Italian immigrants to America in the 1950s. In the 1960s the politically minded counterculture embraced the coffee shop, and coffee culture as we know it now was born.

The coffee house scene led to the birth of the now global coffee giant Starbucks, with its humble beginnings as a single coffee supplies shop in Seattle. Their vision helped bring the concept of the coffee shop out of the niche and into the mainstream, expanding outside Seattle and into the rest of the world. More big brands joined in, and there's still room for independent businesses and cafes which make up a significant percentage of the market.

Walk down any high street in any town almost anywhere and you'll be able to pick up a cappuccino or a latte, or a hot chocolate.

It's strange to think there was ever a time without coffee shops. Where would we have met up with friends? How did people make it through the working day?

The Cafe2U Method



Cafe2U has bought coffee culture one step further than static coffee shops can manage. There was a gap in the market which was twofold but could be simply and effectively be resolved by a bit of lateral thinking. How do you make a viable business out of getting coffee to places which aren’t usually accessible to static businesses?

To Cafe2U's founders the answer was simple. By putting the same equipment you would find in a coffee shop into a van, the mobile coffee franchise was born. People working in office blocks are generally not located particularly close to coffee shops. It means they're likely to be stuck with poor quality instant to get them through those tough Monday mornings. But by bringing the coffee to them, great quality drinks can be provided when and where they're needed.

Nowadays coffee shops seem to be two a penny. The world's biggest mobile coffee franchise is now in its tenth year, but the model which Cafe2U has perfected has very humble beginnings. The first prototype was launched in Sydney in 2000. In 2004, the business was purchased by its current owners who used a strategy to fully implement the franchise model.

From the very first van to the rebrand and relaunch in 2005 which saw Cafe2U enter the British market, the business has grown and grown. To date there are 155 of Cafe2U's mobile coffee franchises in Australia where it all began, but there are also 60 in the UK, 12 in New Zealand and 5 in the United States. Soon the business will be expanding into even more territories with its South Africa launch.

The reason Cafe2U has been, and continues to be, so successful is because it provides real quality where no one else can. There is a lot more to a coffee shop than simply fitting a coffee machine into a building and providing cups and hoping for the best. There needs to be a trained barista who knows how to get the best from those little beans every time. There needs to be competitive pricing. Staff need to be loyal to the company and give exceptional customer service at all times.

There's something different about Cafe2U and that's why it is the world's best mobile coffee franchise. For the last four years a new franchisee has started up their business every 10 days. If you're interested in joining us, or getting great coffee in your place of work, we'd love to hear from you.

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