Spanish coffee company buys majority stake in Java Republic
Irish coffee distributor set for international expansion following deal with Cafento
Java Republic founder David McKernan will continue working with the company in a non-executive capacity as a brand ambassador. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill
The deal, the financial details of which were not disclosed despite queries from The Irish Times, will see the existing management team remain in place and work in partnership with Cafento.
Java Republic said the team would “oversee the domestic and international expansion” of its brand. Cafento will focus on growing the domestic offer in Ireland across all segments of the market, as well as finding “global opportunities”, it said.
It is understood Cafento wants to replicate in Spain, and other markets, what Java Republic has done in the food service sector here. Java Republic will be a premium brand within Cafento’s portfolio.
Cafento is a third-generation Spanish family business and one of Spain’s largest coffee companies. The business will continue to partner with existing suppliers while serving the long-standing customer base. The company will continue to employ upwards of 80 people and will be headquartered in Dublin.
The business will be run by the well-established leadership team of managing director Grace O’Shaughnessy and finance and operations director Jeffrey Long.
“This is an exciting milestone for Java Republic as a new partnership will help us identify new opportunities to show more coffee lovers about our expertise and conscientiousness,” Ms O’Shaughnessy said.
“Our hard-working team will continue to partner with existing suppliers and customers to help businesses serve a world-class cup of coffee or tea, and we will still source and prepare our coffee and tea to uncompromising standards.”
Emma Brett, director of Cafento International, will move to Dublin to join the team. “It was clear from our first meeting how passionate the Java Republic team are about coffee,” said Ms Brett.
“An incredible business has been built in Ireland and I personally look forward to working with everyone here as we seek opportunities to bring the Java Republic brand to new markets.”
Java Republic is one of Ireland’s best-known coffee roasters having brought the world’s first purpose carbon neutral roastery to Ireland to supply coffee to more than 1,200 offices, hotel groups, cafes and corporate catering services.
The chain was founded 20 years ago by David McKernan, who will continue working with the company in a non-executive capacity as a brand ambassador. Mr McKernan said Cafento would be “a great partner to take the business into the future”.
Cafento chief executive Carlos Manuel Rodriguez said his goal would be to provide a product that will be different to those of the company’s competitors.
“We are very proud to welcome Java Republic into the Cafento family and have the opportunity to take some incredibly innovative products and expand into new geographies as well as provide our customers with a more extensive offering,” he said.
“We both share a strong commitment to our customers and to the markets in which we participate.
“Our mission is to influence the development of the coffee market with our experience, knowledge, products, services and involvement with customers, being able to anticipate changes in society, providing differentiation with respect to our competitors.”