Founder Gerry Ford created Caffé Nero in 1997. Ford wanted to bring an excellent, continental-style café to Britain. He wanted the café to be as Italian as possible, serving only the highest quality deli-style food and premium quality Italian coffee.
That year, Gerry Ford started realising his vision when he bought five retail shops in the London area and started converting the shops into what is now known as Caffé Nero. It took Ford a year to establish the café’s brand. In 1998, three more Caffé Nero’s were added in London bringing the total number of cafés to eight.
In 1999, Caffé Nero started operating outside London with its first branch in Manchester. In the same year, the café was recognised as “The best coffeehouse in the country.” This recognition was given by consumers for offering the best kind of atmosphere among all of the cafés in Britain.
By the end part of the year 2000, Caffé Nero had a total of 31 coffeehouses and was already known all throughout the country. By this time, Caffé Nero was considered a national brand. The coffeehouses have continued to perform excellently. Because of its efforts, Caffé Nero was given the “British Design Council Award” for being the UK’s best brand.
In March of 2001, Caffé Nero entered the London Stock Exchange and then later became the biggest publicly listed café in the country. By the end of that year, there were 80 Caffé Neros all over the UK. In 2002, Caffé Nero was able to acquire 29 of McDonald’s Aroma stores. This brought the chain to a total of 106 coffeehouses. In March of 2004, Caffé Nero was able to purchase eight Coffee Republic stores. It then went on to acquire four more of these stores, which resulted in Caffé Nero owning a total of 12 Coffee Republic shops that were integrated into the coffeehouse chain.
Today, Caffé Nero has more than 400 cafés and almost 3,000 employees. The chain has also become known as one of the most admired beverage and food brands in Great Britain.
Headquarters: London, UK
Ownership Type: Private
Demography: Coffee drinkers and retail bakery products consumers