The New Java Lavington

The number of Java House outlets is back to 59 branches across East Africa after having temporarily dropped to 58.

Java House Group opened its latest Nairobi outlet on November 6, the 52nd such coffee house in Kenya.

The new branch is located in Lavington at Shell petrol station on James Gichuru Road.

In a statement, the coffee house said  that this new branch aims to serve the business community and residents within Lavington, Kileleshwa, Kilimani and Nairobi at large.

Java’s new outlet comes barely months after the demolition of a Java House branch in Kileleshwa along with a Shell petrol station that housed it.

The demolitions were carried out by National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) officials who claimed that the buildings had been built on a road reserve and encroached on riparian land.

During the opening of the James Gichuru Road branch, Java House Group chief executive Paul Smith said this was part of the company’s expansion plans.

READ : JAVA TO OPEN SH50 MILLION OUTLET IN MACHAKOS

Mr. Smith added that Java would expand to other counties across Kenya.

He also said, “Coffee intake in Kenya is relatively low as much as Kenya is one of Africa’s leading coffee exporters. As Java, we plan to take Kenyans on a coffee brewing journey and develop a coffee culture amongst Kenyans. We aim to scale coffee-drinking culture in Kenya to new heights.”

Java House was founded in 1999 by Kevin Ashley and Jon (John Cordon) Wagner.

The duo opened a single Nairobi coffee shop at Adam’s Arcade along Ngong Road which has now grown to 59 stores in East Africa (52 in Kenya, 6 in Uganda and 1 in Rwanda).

Its exponential growth saw Washington-based Emerging Capital Partners buy 90% of the company with the remaining 10% stake remaining with Mr. Ashley.

In 2016, Dubai-based Abraaj Group won out in an auction of the coffee chain. The bidding war is reported to have also attracted US companies Carlyle Group and TPG (Texas Pacific Group).

READ : JAVA HOUSE TO EXPORT COFFEE, TEA TO CHINA

The Abraaj Group takeover of Java House is said to have reportedly cost Ksh13 billion meaning the coffee chain’s founder Mr. Ashley could have walked away with around Ksh1.3 billion from the deal.

In May of this year, Java House told Reuters it plans to expand beyond East Africa with plans to open 25 new restaurants in Uganda and a dozen in Rwanda over the next five years. Mr. Smith also said the coffee chain is looking at options that could see it enter Nigeria and South Africa.

Abraaj’s East Africa managing director Ashish Patel told Reuters at the time, “For us Java House is not an East African story. It is an international story. I’m pretty certain we’ll get there in the next couple of years.”

SEE ALSO : KENOLKOBIL TO ACQUIRE STATIONS IN UGANDA, RWANDA

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