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Australian Roaster Veneziano Sells Controlling Stake, Plans Intercontinental Growth

Inside Veneziano's First Pour Cafe in Brisbane

Inside Veneziano’s First Pour Cafe in Brisbane

Minor DKL, an Australian franchise food group, has acquired a controlling stake in Melbourne-based Veneziano Coffee Roasters that will allow for intercontinental expansion, the roaster/retailer says. The exact terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but Veneziano expects immediate retail and roasting growth in Australia, New Zealand and Asia.

“If you had asked me 14 years ago whether I’d ever envisage our company roasting in Asia, I’d never have imagined it”, Veneziano CEO Craig Dickson said in a company announcement today.

(related: These Are Some of the Best Coffee Bar Designs in All of Australia)

The deal is further evidence that investors are taking increased interest in once-regional specialty coffee brands, whether to further develop their presence in their home country or farther afield in emerging markets like Asia and the Middle East. For recent examples in the United States, Stumptown, Blue Bottle and, most recently, La Colombe all come to mind.

Veneziano currently has three retail cafes, in Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide, but the company has grown over 14 years to be a leading wholesaler to high-end cafes throughout Australia, with roasteries in Melbourne and Brisbane and wholesale distribution offices in seven local markets. The company has maintained a strong presence on the international competition circuit, as well, producing numerous Australian barista champions, most recently including multiple-year Australian Barista Champion Craig Simon.

Craig Simon holding his second Australia Barista Champion trophy. DCN file photo courtesy of MICE.

Craig Simon holding his second Australia Barista Champion trophy. DCN file photo courtesy of MICE.

(related: La Colombe Secures $28.5 Million Investment, Plans Coastal Expansion)

As part of the deal, Minor also will acquire the Groove Train and Coffee Hit Brands, which along with Veneziano will be grouped and operated collectively as VGC Food Group.

“VGC Food Group will continue to be operated under the guidance and stewardship of founders Craig Dickson and Rocky Veneziano, supported by the infrastructure and resources of both Minor DKL throughout Australia and New Zealand, and more broadly throughout Asia in conjunction with our partner company, Thai-listed Minor International,” Jason Ball, CEO at Minor DKL, said in a separate announcement today.

Minor DKL already operates and owns The Coffee Club and Ribs & Rumps Restaurant brands, with more than 380 restaurants and cafes operating in 10 countries.

(related: Investors Not Shy As Coffee Subscription Segment Matures)

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