Philadelphia-based La Colombe announced growth with Whole Foods Market Inc., Austin, Texas, which launches the brand into the national spotlight as a key relationship for the retailer, the company says.
La Colombe will provide the coffee and training for cafés in several Whole Foods Market regions, including Rocky Mountain and North Atlantic. Additionally, two “Friends of Whole Foods Market” locations, which are owned-and-operated by La Colombe, will open within two Whole Foods Market flagship locations this year ― one on North Lamar Boulevard in Austin, Texas and another in the Bowery neighborhood of New York City. This comes on the heels of securing national distribution of roasted coffee in all Whole Foods Market locations across the country, the company notes.
“The La Colombe and Whole Foods Market relationship goes back more than 20 years when the retailer carried us as a local coffee roaster in the Mid-Atlantic region,” said Chuck Chupein, president of La Colombe, in a statement. “In more recent years, they were a true early adopter to our Draft Latte product, and we are now the No. 1 ready-to-drink brand in the set. We could not be more excited to expand our relationship.”
This fall, La Colombe will open its first “Friends of Whole Foods Market” café, which will be located in the Whole Foods Market North Lamar Blvd. store in Austin, making it La Colombe's first Texas location. Following the opening of the Austin location, La Colombe will expand its New York City footprint, with a “Friends of Whole Foods Market” café and roastery in the Bowery neighborhood. This will be La Colombe's ninth New York City location, and first New York City roastery, the company says.
The “Friends of Whole Foods Market” also provides innovative businesses and entrepreneurs an opportunity to establish independent retail spaces inside its stores, it adds.
“We are thrilled to continue growing our relationship with La Colombe and proud to offer this high-quality coffee to our customers,” said Jeff Turnas, senior vice president of global culinary procurement and operations at Whole Foods Market, in a statement. “From an assortment of ready-to-drink coffees to the service of ‘Friends of Whole Foods Market’ cafés, to collaborating on a roast offering together, we feel confident that our customers will find their favorite La Colombe offering at our stores.”
Earlier this year, La Colombe opened three cafés in collaboration with Whole Foods Market in the Rocky Mountain Region. And in August, they opened two cafes in the Boston metropolitan area. These locations are the brand's hospitality accounts and are owned-and-operated by the Whole Foods Market team, but fully serviced by La Colombe.
Finally, this October, La Colombe will begin the national rollout of five roasted products and two seasonal roasts, including Corsica, Nizza, Monaco, Afrique and Lyon, the company says.