Bruno Costa and his brother Sergio of Italy founded Costa Coffee. The brothers began the business in 1971. They began operating as a supplier of wholesale roasted coffee to a number of caterers and specialist coffee shops. Costa Coffee’s first head office was in the area of Lambeth,London. Its main product was slow-roasted mocha Italia.
In 1978, the company decided to venture into the area of retail. The first Costa Coffeehouse opened in the area of Vauxhall Bridge Road in London. In 1995, its current owner Whitbread Company purchased Costa Coffee. Under the ownership of Whitbread, Costa Coffee continued to grow and the number of Costa coffeehouses started to increase.
In 2009, Costa Coffee opened its 1,000th store in the United Kingdom. This 1,000th store was located in Cardiff, Wales. In 2010, Costa Coffee was able to acquire “Coffee Heaven,” a company having a strong presence in both Eastern and Central Europe. This acquisition added 79 more stores to the ones Costa Coffee already operated. At the end of 2010, Costa Coffee had overtaken Starbucks in the UK market, taking 37.6% market share when it comes to turnover.
In recent years, Costa introduced a new concept to the UK market, the Costa Express. Costa Express shops are often referred to as coffee bars that are self-service. Recently, Costa’s parent company took over Coffee Nation. Costa Express plans to extend its locations to 3,000 in the coming years. The company is looking at transport interchanges, universities and hospital for locations. Costa Express Coffee Bars will be using the same kind of coffee beans that are used at Costa Coffeehouses. One difference between the Coffeehouse and the Coffee Bar is the use of fresh milk in Costa Express coffee bars.
Ownership Type: a subsidiary of Whitbread Company
Employees: information not available
Geography: UK, Bahrain, Cyprus, Hungary, Ireland, Jordan, Latvia, Pakistan, Qatar, Serbia, Montenegro, Turkey, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Greece, China, India, Isle of Man, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Egypt, Poland, Russia, Romania, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and UAE.