Seattle-based Seattle's Best Coffee (SBC) is rapidly expanding global growth, having recently signed an agreement with the company's existing market owner, Snowbean Coffee Company, to build 15 cafes in Canada and to expand wholesale sales through growth in restaurants, coffee houses, and other foodservice venues.

The SBC cafes will be built over the next five years across western Canada, and all are slated for strong traffic locations. Two cafes will open this fall in prime locations in Vancouver, B.C. One will be converted from the existing site on Hamilton Street, and the other cafe will be located at 11th and Granville.

To date, a significant wholesale business in Canada has already been established with Snowbean Coffee Company. The company has regional offices in Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver. Snowbean founder and president, Jay Garnett established his business in 1994, and began pioneering SBC in the Canadian market in 1995. Snowbean is the specialty coffee company's exclusive Canadian sales and distribution agent, with extensive experience in the wholesale and retail coffee business.

"Our current wholesale customers are extremely important to us," said Garnett. "We are continuing our commitment to them, while having this unique opportunity to build Seattle's Best Coffee's presence throughout Canada." Garnett is currently exploring possible growth relationships to strengthen the SBC brand across the country.

"Canada has been an important piece of SBC's global growth," said Tom Mitchell, Vice President, General Manager of International Coffee for SBC. "With a strong wholesale business in place due to Snowbean's diligent work, we are able to create a synergistic penetration with the addition of these retail cafes."

The third largest specialty coffee company by revenue in the US, SBC has global commitments topping the 325-mark over the next five years. The Canadian expansion is the latest international development agreement for Seattle's Best Coffee. Agreements recently signed include 40 cafes in Korea; 40 cafes in the Philippines; 167 cafes in Japan, and 65-units in six Middle Eastern countries. SBC anticipates 100 additional commitments in Asia by the end of the year. Global growth is important since 80%+ of the world's coffee consumption occurs outside the U.S.

Seattle Coffee Company has 7,500+ wholesale customers in North America, including restaurants, foodservices and airlines. There are 81 SBC company-owned and franchised cafes domestically, and 19 Torrefazione Italia cafes in North America. Seattle Coffee Company's 1999 revenues reached the $75 million mark.

Seattle Coffee Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlanta-based AFC Enterprises (, which operates 3,500 restaurant, bakery and cafe franchises in 27 countries. AFC is the parent company of Churchs Chicken, Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits, and Cinnabon International, and had 1999 system-wide sales over $2 billion.

For further information

Karen LaFlamme, Public Relations Counsel of Seattle's Best Coffee, 253-841-5024, or
or Jay Garnett of Snowbean Coffee Company, 604-618-5500, or