Artcaffé opens second food store in Westlands

ArtCaffé Group has opened its tenth outlet this year in Westlands as it races to gain market share in Kenya’s emerging and growing coffee drinking culture and demand for snacks and meals.

The Raphta Square branch on Raphta Road is the latest eatery to welcome customers after Britam Tower in Upper Hill, and Shell petrol stations on the Northern bypass and the Eastern bypass were opened earlier this month.

The new outlet is styled as a gourmet food store, the second after its Kileleshwa branch, and will also feature a cellar of unique wines and spirits sourced from across the world.

The branch, sitting on an 8,000 sqft space, is also designed as a one-stop shop with a selection of pre-prepared meals, a speciality butchery, pantry, fresh produce section along with homeware and fresh flowers.

“As consumers, we have become much more cosmopolitan and are increasingly in search of sophisticated experiences that we can recreate at home,” said Artcaffé Group CEO Sagi Vaknin.

He said the group plans to open two more similar outlets along Kiambu Road and Gigiri.

The new branch has a restaurant area which will seat a maximum of 150 people and a rooftop bar.

The outlet brings ArtCaffé’s branch network in Kenya to 54.

The group competes with local coffee chain Java House and global brands, including KFC, Subway, and Big Square, which have also been on an expansion spree fuelled by private equity investors.

The increased visits to coffee shops are fuelled by Kenya’s expanding middle class with higher disposable incomes to spend on luxury items.

Increased activity in this segment of the market has also coincided with the rise in the construction of new malls in Nairobi, offering retailers a concentration of well-heeled shoppers.

The ArtCaffé Group was acquired by private equity firm ECP in 2018 for Sh3.5 billion.

The transaction was a re-entry of ECP into the restaurant business after it sold its stake in Java House two years earlier.

The acquisition gave ECP control over ArtCaffé’s business that consists of bakeries, coffee houses, and eatery brands such as Dormans, Tapas Ceviche Bar, Urban Gourmet Burgers and Oh Cha Noodle Bar.

The group also operates a central bakery, kitchen, and logistics centre that prepares and distributes artisanal baked goods, food, and drink shipments to its restaurants.

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