Colombian coffee chain Juan Valdez on Thursday announced plans to open franchises across the U.S. and Latin America.
The company intends to expand the brand in Canada, the U.S., Peru, Argentina, and various Central America and Caribbean countries.
Over 2,000 applications to run franchises have already been received. The chain plans to select with care those applicants who are experienced and “capable of rapid expansion.”
As well as selling franchises, the brand’s new strategy is to focus on establishing branches in airports, and increasing sales of bagged coffee over the internet and in supermarkets.
“Currently 85% of the specialty coffee sold [in supermarkets] is Colombian, hence the importance of strengthening this market niche,” said Catherine Crane, president of Juan Valdez’s owner Procafecol.
The company plans to increase the number of outlets worldwide in which its bagged coffee is sold to over 2,300 by the end of the year.
Juan Valdez’s goal for Colombia is to expand at a rate of five new shops a year. The chain has ten branches in Chile, and plans to build ten more over the next five years, as well as ten in Ecuador, where it plans to double its presence by the end of 2011.
This news comes despite February’s announcement that Juan Valdez would be closing its flagship store in Times Square, New York.