PJ's Coffee Company was founded 25 years ago in New Orleans by Phyllis Jordan, around the time Howard Schultz was concepting his Moby Dick brand. Despite attempts by Starbucks and others in a fragmented specialty coffee category to dethrone PJ's Coffee from its leadership spot in one of the country's greatest food and beverage towns, New Orleans, PJ's has remained the preferred coffee and coffeehouse experience.

In conjunction with the debut of its new brand identity, store design and wine component in Orlando, PJ's Coffee officially announces its plans to go national with several stores opening in the first quarter in Florida, including Eustis and Lake Mary as well as Largo, Florida near Tampa. New Orleans will receive a PJ's Coffee new design on Tulane campus in March. 

Several factors make it a brand to watch - a long-standing coffee team, a new parent with a successful track record for launching and Franchising concepts and an updated brand identity, store design and wine bar option.

"We have a tremendous coffee product in PJ's Coffee, one we believe can take the number one position behind the category leader," explains Phil Coleman, President, PJ's Coffee. "It's a bold statement to say we have "Simply the Best Coffee," therefore, we felt the brand needed to reflect that bold position in its brand identity, store design and in-store experience. So with the new image, you will see bolder colors, a more contemporary design, without compromise to the comfortable personality of the original PJ's."

The response to the new image and the franchising expertise that comes from its new parent, Raving Brands, has generated great interest in the brand nationally. Within the last three months, PJ's has sold more Franchises than in the previous five years. Part of that success is attributed to Raving Brands, which also manages Moe's Southwest Grill, Mama Fu's Noodle House and Planet Smoothie. Two years ago, PJ's, Moe's and Planet Smoothie had about 150 stores opened. By the end of 2004, the four brands combined, including Mama Fu's, will have more than 500 stores opened and an additional 700 franchises signed.

"We are focused on being the specialty Coffee franchise of choice," explains Chris Morocco, Chief Marketing Officer, PJ's Coffee. "Our coffee team, led by founder Phyllis Jordan, has been together for more than 10 years. And with our portfolio of brands, we can now leverage the real estate purchasing power to secure the best locations. Franchisees even have the opportunity to enter a large space and divide it into multiple Raving Brands concepts." PJ's Coffee and Wine Bar.

PJ's Coffee and Wine Bar plans to do what few traditional coffee chains have been able to do. It will marry the natural relationship between coffee and wine to extend into multiple day parts during the week and weekend. Franchisees will have the option of buying into a straight PJ's Coffee or PJ's Coffee and Wine Bar, which Raving Brands believes has the potential to drive as much as $300,000 additional annual revenue. Included in the wine bar model will be retail sales, where appropriate.

"We are receiving great interest for the wine bar concept, especially in markets like Florida," explains Robert Brand, a Raving Brands partner and franchisee of 10 of the new PJ's Coffee and Wine Bars scheduled to open in Florida in 2004-2005. "We believe we will see our loyal coffee customers stopping by in the evening to enjoy a nice glass of wine or in some cases, we will have customers who are wine enthusiasts first. Our goal is to make PJ's a great neighborhood destination, in the morning or evening, weekday or weekend."

PJ's Coffee and Wine Bar will also serve light fare including an assortment of cheeses, sandwiches, paninis and baked goods made on the premises, which is atypical of national specialty retail coffee companies. In addition, PJ's will feature a selection of indulgent desserts, all of which complement their fine selections of coffee and wine.

Founded in 1978 in one of America's leading coffee ports, New Orleans, PJ's Coffee sets the standard for selecting, roasting and brewing coffee. With 37 coffeehouses in the United States, PJ's Coffee is poised for growth under its new leadership, Raving Brands, which also owns four other concepts - Moe's Southwest Grill, Mama Fu's Noodle House, Planet Smoothie and new concept, Doc Green's Gourmet Salads debuting in 2004. Operating under PJ's Coffee and PJ's Coffee and Wine Bar, it expects to have 200 franchises signed by the end of 2005. Its coffee can be enjoyed in-store or at home by purchasing PJ's Coffee and coffee products in-store.


Franchise News Release: Atlanta, GA - (Feb-19-2004)

PJ's Coffee Company - New Orleans Coffee Leader Ready to Go National


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