Java coffee shop to open 26th outlet in the CBD


A Java coffee shop in Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE

Nairobi Java House, the coffee shop, is set to open its 26th outlet in the city center next month.

The new outlet will be located at Phoenix House, nestled between Kenyatta Avenue and Standard Street.

“It is a location with good traffic foot fall and the site presented an opportunity to create an exciting dining and meeting space,” said Leonard Mudachi, Nairobi Java House chief operating officer.

Java House last year announced plans to invest between Sh344 million ($4 million) and Sh430 million ($5 million) to open new outlets.

This saw the coffee house open new branches across the country, including one along Kimathi Street, Westlands Road, City Hall Way and Kisumu as well as an additional outlet at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

The coffee chain has been growing its footprint in the country with plans to have at least five new branches before the end of the year. “Our growth in 2015 will mirror the growth we have undergone in the last two years,” said Mr Mudachi.

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In 2012, American private equity firm Emerging Capital Partners (ECP) bought a majority stake in Java. The capital injection by ECP gave the coffee house financial muscle to fund its expansion plans.

With 25 outlets in Kenya, the coffee house through its sister company Java Coffee and Tea expanded into Kampala.

“We are currently in Uganda and will continue to explore opportunities in the east African region as they avail themselves,” Mr Mudachi said.

The growth in coffee culture has seen increased competition in the market. In January last year, competitor Artcaffe acquired Dormans coffee shop, a move that saw it increase its outlets across the city as it opened a new branch in Westlands at The Oval.

“There has been a shift in consumption from tea to coffee-based drinks. We believe it is influenced by an appreciation of the versatility of coffee,” said Artcaffe marketing and communications manager Njeri Kariuki in an interview with the Business Daily.

Artcaffe rebranded and began operation of three Dormans outlets at Wilson Airport, Junction Mall and the Village Market. Other eateries, including Avanti Group of Restaurants, are also fighting for a share of the pie.