Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Expands to NYC


Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf plans to open the first of five New York City locations later this month on Broadway at 39th St.

Chain outlets of the Los Angeles-based chain stretch along with West Coast from San Diego to Seattle with four San Francisco locations. Franchise stores can also be found in Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, Texas, Michigan, Alabama and Florida. The family-owned business was founded in 1963 by Herbert B. Hyman and now operates 274 company-owned stores out of a total 750 cafes in 22 countries. Franchise operators must agree to a 15-store expansion over five years.

The New York shops will seat 35 and are designed to resemble the neighborhoods in which they reside. Four locations are to follow by the end of the year, all in Manhattan. In 2010 the firm teamed up with Gensler architecture “to clarify the look of a brand, yet celebrate the sacred design elements for which it is known,” says Guy Williams, AIA, Senior Associate & Project Manager, Gensler Los Angeles.

“It is important for The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf to evolve and change with both our franchisees and our customers’ needs,” said Terry Mansky, Chief Administrative Officer for The Coffee Bean& Tea Leaf. “We wanted to create an environment that illustrated our commitment to our local communities and that would keep the character of the company’s culture during the process.”

The move east follows a path blazed by Peets Coffee & Tea, a smaller San Francisco competitor that recently invested in significant distribution of its packaged goods offerings along the East Coast.

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf serves a variety of espresso drinks, 22 coffees and has a strong tea offering for a coffee-focused venture. Twenty tea selections include oolong, herbals and even matcha. The stores also sell limited-edition tins of tea and teaware online and over the counter.

NYC bloggers Gothemist welcomed the addition. SFist in San Francisco notes that “Down South, CBTL enjoys a cultish status after a couple cameos on quality television programs like Entourage and The Hills lifted their iced blended drinks to relative stardom. (That's actually a better acting resume than most Coffee Bean employees in LA, actually.)”