Mugg & Bean switches coffee supplier

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Mugg & Bean coffee-themed restaurant chain, recently acquired as a wholly owned subsidiary by Famous Brands, has concluded an exclusive supply agreement with the Redberry Coffee Company.

The agreement sees the supply of a custom-developed coffee collection of 100% Arabica coffee to all 100 Mugg & Bean restaurants nationwide. It follows an extensive pilot process to develop a full coffee solution for the restaurant chain, including a range of coffees, barista training, coffee equipment, coffee specifications and future innovations.

Mugg & Bean currently sells 11-tons of coffee, or 15-million cups of coffee-based drinks per month. The restaurants were founded on the coffee offering, which extends to a range of food and beverage items.

"The decision to partner with Redberry to introduce this superior coffee product into all Mugg & Bean restaurants was based on our core philosophy of innovation, which is one shared by the directors of Redberry, and a desire to return to our strong foundation in coffee," says Graeme Morrison, managing executive of Mugg & Bean.

The Redberry Coffee Company is a specialty roaster and marketer, which has its origins in the Cumming family coffee farm of Beaver Creek in KwaZulu Natal, the southern-most coffee plantation in the world. MD of Redberry is Dylan Cumming, whose grandfather still roasts the beans on the family's estate and who created the Redberry coffee brand.

The Redberry brand gained exposure to the consumer market initially through the Coffee of the Month Club, a joint venture with the Wine of the Month Club, and in 2009 a share of Redberry was acquired by Slo-Jo, a company which supplies and distributes a range of hot and cold beverages.

Redberry currently imports over 70 types of green coffee beans from all the major coffee-producing countries, including Kenya, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Java, India, China and Panama. Locally, the coffee is grown and roasted at the Beaver Creek farm in KZN and in Cape Town.

"Mugg & Bean shares our commitment to delivering a high quality cup and coffee experience. The supply agreement is based on far more than simply supplying top quality coffee beans to Mugg & Bean, but also on partnering to upgrade the coffee culture in South Africa through training, education and innovation," says Dylan Cumming.

The company has introduced seasonal single origin coffee from around the world to the menu and embarked on an extensive training of baristas to improve standards and introduce new methods of coffee preparation.

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