RWANDA – Java House, one of the largest coffee houses in Africa is set to open three additional stores in the next six months in Rwanda as it plans to gain a wider footprint in the African coffee-led restaurants.

According to Business Daily, the coffee chain plans to open two additional branches and an outlet of its other brand, 360 Degrees Artisan Pizza, an upmarket Italian pizzeria concept within the capital, Kigali.

Additionally, the coffee firm said it plans to more than double its branches in Uganda to between 10 and 15 branches over the next three years

“We are increasing our presence in Rwanda and we are going to move from one to four branches in over the next six months.

And we are looking into growing our footprint in Uganda to 10 to 15 branches,” said Chief executive officer Paul Smith to Business Daily.

“We set aside about Sh1 billion for the expansion plans for this year in capital, money that will be used to do a number of things including setting up new branches and improving our IT systems.”

Java is also mulling an entry into Nigeria either as a wholly foreign owned enterprise or in a joint venture, and was looking at franchise opportunities in South Africa.

“For Nigeria, we are going to start doing market research over the next six months so that we are well equipped on issues like competition, ease of doing business before we venture into this market.

Moving into a new market takes time and if everything goes well we should start operations in a year or two,” said Smith.

Distributorship partnership

Recently, Java signed a distributorship agreement with Shanghai-based Conglomerate C.J. Smart Cargo International to sell Kenyan special coffee and tea online across major cities in China starting October.

The deal will see Africachain under Shanghai Greenchain Limited, a subsidiary of C.J. Smart Cargo International sell Java’s Kenya AA Arabica coffee and Gold Label Tea brands.

Java is also set to open another outlet in the Kenyan capital following the demolition of one of its outlets claimed to be standing on a riparian land.

This is part of Java’s key strategy to supply Kenyan coffee across the world with initial targets being Europe, USA and China, owing to increased demand for speciality coffee.

Java, which opened the first outlet in 1999, has 57 stores across Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda and the move opens potential of opening its brands, including Java House Restaurants in China.