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BB's partners Elite in café venture

01 May, 2009
Page 8 

BB's Coffee & Muffins has joined forces with Elite Fuels to open its first forecourt café in the UK - at Fleet Point in Middlesbrough.

BB's is targeting the forecourt sector for further expansion after a successful two-year pilot in the Irish market. The company claims to be the fifth-largest coffee chain in the UK and the number one operator in shopping centres.

It has more than 180 retail cafés in the UK and Ireland and puts much of its success down to the fact that it takes into account "different consumer taste preferences at different locations".

The café at the Elite Fuels' site on the A66 takes up 20 square metres of the Revive shop. It serves handmade muffins, which are baked fresh each day, freshly-prepared sandwiches and snacks, and espresso-based coffee. BB's said that because many of its products are handmade, there is increased profit potential.

BB's is managing the in-store operation of the Elite unit. Director of Elite Fuels, Visvanathan Ramakrishnan, explained: "Our strength is in running forecourts, not foodservice operations so it makes sense for us to bring in an established brand with expertise in this area."

BB's retail and brand director, Michelle Young, said the company is willing to work with forecourts on a managed, franchised or joint venture basis.