Los Angeles Business Journal

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Expanding to Japan

By Andrew Edwards Monday, August 4, 2014

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, which has its main offices in Los Angeles, on Monday announced plans to open its first stores in Japan by the end of the year.

The chain of coffee houses currently has stores in 25 countries, including South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia. Coffee Bean plans to ultimately open some 200 stores in Japan.

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, which is privately held, is working with L.A. Style Inc. on its expansion. L.A. Style is a joint venture between HotLand Co., a Japanese restaurant company, and Aeon Mall Co., a Japanese mall developer.

John Dawson, chief executive of Coffee Bean, said his company’s partnership with L.A. Style provides an opportunity to benefit from the latter’s local intelligence and combined knowledge of the restaurant and real estate fields.

“We feel that this make up, this partnership is going to provide us a tremendous advantage as we go forward in Japan,” he said.

The location of the first Coffee Bean store in Japan has yet to be determined, Dawson said. When the store opens, the company plans to serve essentially the same beverages as stateside, but food offerings will be tailored for Japanese tastes.

Dawson said he expects the planned 200 stores will open in Japan within seven years.