[THE INVESTOR] Domestic coffee enthusiasts are keenly awaiting the launch of Blue Bottle Coffee Shop in Korea as the chief executive, during his recent visit here, hinted that plans are afoot.
According to industry sources, during his visit to the 6th World Coffee Leaders Forum at COEX in Seoul on Nov. 9, Blue Bottle CEO Brian Meehan and said he intends to open stores in Korea and other Asian regions including China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
“We’re developing our contacts here. I’d love to come to Korea, and I’m taking into account the support Koreans have already given us,” he said.
Blue Bottle is researching the market and looking for a general manager here, according to the CEO.
There is speculation that the firm will partner with SPC Group to launch in Korea. However, SPC has denied the rumors stating that the Blue Bottle headquarters will directly manage its stores, which was the case when the coffee retailer expanded into Japan in 2015.
Meehan also stated that the company is not considering selling ready-to-drink canned or bottled coffee and that the specific launch date has yet to be decided.
Blue Bottle was founded by James Freeman, a former clarinet player, in 2002 in Oakland, California. The coffee roaster and retailer began to gain popularity with its unique blend of slow hand drip coffee and blue bottles since its inception and was acquired by Nestle for US$425 million in September 2017.
By Alex Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)