Caffeine Kick for Famous Brands

Caffeine Kick for Famous Brands


Well known for its strategic acquisitions, Famous Brands has done it again, acquiring a 60% stake in South African coffee roastery Java Lava to the tune of R7 million.

Forming a specialist coffee company capable of supplying blends to all of the Famous Brands group restaurants, Java Lava will be producing 360 tons of roasted coffee beans on top of its 240 tons output for current clients per year.

Already having scale and volume capabilities for greater production, a further R7 million will be reinvested back into the facility to upgrade the technology and size of roasters and packaging machines.

Being a small industry within South Africa, Brian Best, chief executive and co-founder of Java Lava, explains that unlike more visible brands with public personas, Java Lava has managed their process by being a manufacturing business, manufacturing under license for clients based on volume, service level agreements and, from a commercial perspective, to eliminate certain costs such as marketing, representatives and related equipment.

When introduce to Kevin Hedderwick, CEO of Famous Brands, through an industry colleague, it was made clear that the new challenges facing Java Lava would not only be a matter of volume, but having to replicate coffee blends unique to each restaurant brand and maintain their institution and customer loyalty, after all, people are passionate about their coffee.

How will this acquisition affect both businesses? For Famous Brands, blends for 52 million cups of coffee served across their restaurant network will be produced from one specialist coffee roasting company. Scaling up Java Lava’s facilities will also see Famous Brands’ famous coffees available on supermarket shelves. For Java Lava, security and support provided by Famous Brands in today’s unstable market, and learning from Hedderwick’s experience, repertoire and pedigree will see them grow into South Africa’s biggest coffee roaster.

Tracy Lee Nicol
Tracy-Lee Nicol is an experienced business writer and magazine editor. She was awarded a Masters degree with distinction from Rhodes university in 2010, and in the time since has honed her business acumen and writing skills profiling some of South Africa's most successful entrepreneurs, CEOs, franchisees and franchisors.Find her on Google+.