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Theta Ridge Coffee

Ditting Opens Michigan Office

Ditting USA has opened a new satellite office based in Michigan. William and Nancy Wideman will be expanding the U.S. service market for Ditting coffee grinders by providing local service and reconditioning as well as faster shipments of spare parts to the Northeast, Southeast, and Midwest. The office officially opened in August giving U.S. clients an extra three hours of technical support, starting at 8:30A.M. EST until 5:00P.M. PST.

Ditting USA, Tel: (1)(800) 835-5992, Web: www.ditting.com.


Coffee Fest Vegas Review

Coffee Fest Las Vegas 2006, held June 9 - 11, 2006, showcased 255 service and supply booths and more than 80 educational programs. In addition, several winners were crowned in competitions including the Millrock Latte Art Competition and the Best New Product Awards. Final attendance (not including exhibitors and staff) was 3,672, up from 3,350 that attended last year.

The ever-popular Millrock Latte Art Competition, presented by Barista Magazine, featured some of the country’s finest baristas going head-to-head in an action-packed display of coffee creativity. Reid Hickman of Zoka Coffee Roasters & Tea Co. of Seattle was crowned the Millrock Free-Pour Latte Art Champion as he walked away with the $1,000 prize. This is the second consecutive Millrock Latte Art Competition that Hickman has won, giving him a chance to sweep the 2006 competitions, if he enters and wins at Coffee Fest Seattle in October. Justin Teisl of Alterra Coffee Roasters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, took second place and won $500, and Phuong Tran of Lava Java in Ridgefield, Washington, and also of Zoka Coffee Roasters & Tea Co. took third, winning $250.

Coffee Fest’s remaining 2006 show schedule is as follows: Coffee Fest Seattle, October 27-29, at the Washington State Convention & Trade Center.


Insulair Announces Agreement With Georgia-Pacific

Insulair Inc., maker of the triple-wall insulated paper cup has reached a definitive agreement to be acquired by Fort James Operating Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Georgia-Pacific Corp. Under this agreement, Georgia-Pacific will integrate the Insulair business and its Vernalis, California facility into the company’s Dixie business.

“Combining Insulair’s innovative technology with Dixie’s marketing and manufacturing scale will allow Insulair to accelerate its growth plans and better serve our customers. As part of Georgia-Pacific, I look forward to continuing my work with Insulair’s employees, customers and key supplier partners,” said Claus Sadlier, president and c.e.o. of Insulair.

Insulair Inc., is a privately held company that produces patented, triple-wall insulated paper cups that keep drinks hot 26%, or 17 minutes longer than standard paper cups, while protecting hands by remaining 23 degrees cooler to the touch. The cups eliminate the need for polystyrene foam cups, cup sleeves, or double cupping.


Hostelcom Comes to Barcelona

Now in its 25th year, Hostelco, the International Restaurant, Hotel and Community Equipment Exhibition is a leading event in Spain and in the hotel, catering, and community sector. At its upcoming show, which will be held October from 21- 25, at the Montjuïc Trade Fair Centre of the Fira de Barcelona, the exhibition will once again occupy the entire Montjuïc venue (over 60,000 sq. m.), featuring the participation of more than 2,000 leading companies from the following sectors: hotel and restaurant equipment and machinery; cookware and tableware; management, control, computer, and security systems; textiles and uniforms; furniture and decoration; food and drinks for the hotel, restaurant and community sector / coffee area; Expolimp (equipment and products for laundry, dry cleaning, hygiene and general cleaning); vending (automatic distribution); service companies.

Hostelco is organized by the Fira de Barcelona, the leading industrial and professional trade fair organizer in Spain and one of the top four leaders in Europe in number of events, and FELAC, the Federación Española de Asociaciones de Fabricantes de Maquinaria para Hostelería, Colectividades e Industrias Afines (Spanish Federation of Manufacturers of Equipment for Hotel and Restaurants, Communities and Similar Industries).

During the show, a jury of experts will hold a tasting session (led by an authority from the Speciality Coffee Association of Europe, SCAE) to choose the best green coffee presented at the event. Hostelco will also host the semi-finals and finals of the 1st National Barista Competition, organized with the collaboration of the Forum Cultural del Café and accredited by the Speciality Coffee Association of Europe, SCAE. The winner chosen by the judges of the World Barista Championship, (WBC) will go on to participate in the World Championship slated to be held in Japan in 2007.


Tata Coffee Buys Eight O’Clock Coffee

Tata Coffee Ltd., (India) has agreed to acquire the U.S.-based Eight O’Clock Coffee Company from Gryphon Investors for $220 million.

Tata Coffee, India’s largest coffee plantation company, said the acquisition would be financed by a combination of equity and non-recourse debt. The company’s acquisition of Eight O’Clock Coffee Company follows a series of acquisitions by the Tata Tea group including Tetley (U.K.) for $432 million and U.S. tea packer, Good Earth. The company’s managing director, M.H. Ashraff, said in a statement, “This acquisition is a strategic fit with our growth plans and helps Tata Coffee in attaining its objective to become an international and fully integrated player in the coffee industry.”

Tata Coffee said in a statement that the deal would give it a foothold in the U.S., the world’s largest coffee market, worth $21 billion in annual sales.


Batdorf & Bronson Celebrates 25 Years

Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters of Olympia, Washington and Atlanta, Georgia will celebrate the company’s 20th anniversary with product innovations, a new retail location and continued leadership in sustainable business practices. Batdorf & Bronson began as a café/roaster in Washington in August, 1986 and has grown to include roasting facilities in Olympia and Atlanta as well as six retail locations.

In celebration of their 20th anniversary, Batdorf & Bronson’s roastmaster Scott Merle has developed a limited edition blend called “20.” The company will roll out new biodegradable iced drink cups made from corn resin to decrease the use of plastic in their retail and wholesale divisions and reduce the company’s overall environmental footprint.

Fall 2006 will also mark the debut of Batdorf & Bronson’s flagship retail coffeehouse in the Atlanta area. The store will be an innovative coffee retailer with state-of-the-art equipment and specially trained baristas, as well as whole bean coffee sales and a training facility. Batdorf & Bronson president Larry Challain is enthusiastic about this new retail venture.


Ottens Merges with MK Flavors

Ottens Flavors, an international flavor supplier, has merged with MK Flavors & Co. Mexico. The Mexican operation will now bear the name MK Ottens Flavors. The merger will enable Ottens to extend its market presence into Central and South America

Miguel Zavala and Karla Finkenthal, flavorists with more than 20 years of experience in the industry, founded MK Flavors in 2003. The company is a fast-growing supplier of flavors to the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries in Mexico.

Richard Robinson, c.e.o. of Ottens Flavors, said, “Ottens Flavors serves customers throughout the world, and we see significant opportunities for growth in the Central and South American markets. Our merger with MK Flavors strengthens our position in Mexico and will help us complete our strategic plan to become a strong, global flavor supplier.”

According to Miguel Zavala, commercial director of MK Flavors, “The merger with Ottens Flavors will enable us to fortify our technological resources and improve our manufacturing capabilities. Customers of both Ottens and MK Flavors will benefit from our increased presence and superior customer service.”


Miko Acquires Hamburg-based Leo Coffee

Coffee roaster, Miko, has purchased a 49 share in coffee service company Leo Coffee GmbH of Hamburg (Germany). The remaining 51% of the shares are covered by a strict call contract which guarantees that Miko can acquire the remaining 51%, according to a predetermined formula, by 2012 at the latest.

Leo Coffee GmbH is a coffee service organization, which has been active on the German market for a decade. Its sales are focused on the “out-of-home” market. This is achieved through direct sales in and around Hamburg and through distributors in the rest of Germany. Product sales amount to 800,000 euros.

Leo Coffee has accumulated a lot of debt since it was established and has been struggling to repay it. Miko stresses that the lion’s share of the acquisition has been achieved by taking over Leo Coffee’s debts. “We are convinced that Leo Coffee can be profitable for us within a few years provided that it adopts a suitable growth strategy,” explains Miko Coffee’s managing director Frans Van Tilborg.

Frans Michielsen, c.e.o. and managing director of the Miko group, adds: “At the end of 2004, we lost a very large private label customer in Germany which we supplied for many years. After announcing this to our shareholders at that time, we actually went out looking for an acquisition opportunity in Germany. With its more than 80 million inhabitants, this country has very big opportunities. This acquisition has taken two years and is the consequence of our strict selection criteria. With Leo Coffee, we expect to have made up for our sudden drop in sales in 2004 in Germany within a few years. And this time, it will not be via a large distributor, but with our own organization of which the turnover can not be taken away from us by a mere e-mail.”

Miko has been active in coffee service for over 200 years and in plastic packaging for some 30 years now, and was floated on Eurolist by Euronext Brussels in 1998. The group employs 537 people and achieved a turnover of 82.99 million EUR in 2005. It is an international group which owns companies in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Britain, Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.


Nestle To Build Factory In Indiana

Nestle USA has selected a 190-acre site in Anderson, Indiana, to build a $359 million factory and distribution center. The 880,000-sq. ft. facility will produce Nestle’s Nesquik and Coffee-Mate products. Construction will begin later this year, with the facility scheduled to open in spring 2008. It is expected to initially employ about 300 workers.

Nestle’s USA headquarters in Glendale, California chose Anderson, which is located about 40 miles northeast of Indianapolis, primarily because of its “central location and the feeling that its welcoming environment would be a good place for Nestle employees and their families to live,” said Steve Presley, vice president of ready-to-drink beverages for Nestle USA.



Tea & Coffee - September/October, 2006
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