Business Profiles Featured

Java House Africa: Coffee House to International Brand

Coffee is a part of most people’s daily life, from that quick fix in the morning to wake you up or the one you enjoy throughout your day as an enjoyable treat. For Java House, coffee is at the centre of everything they do. From opening their first coffee shop in Nairobi, Kenya in 1999, Java House aims to bring gourmet coffee-drinking culture to Kenya and build an empire that now extends throughout the East of Africa.  

As one of the leading coffee brands in Africa, Java House has grown to now span 14 outlets across cities such as Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda and currently reaches 20,000 customers a day. Java House aims to deliver gourmet coffee-drinking culture with its carefully roasted Kenyan AA coffee beans. Kenya is renowned for its aromatic arabica coffee, which is grown on the foothills of Mount Kenya, and so the resulting coffee is a source of pride for the Kenyan-originated company, due to its unique and powerful flavour. Java House was founded in 1999 by friends Kevin Ashley and Jon Wagner, and since its origins has continued to deliver top-quality coffee experiences and begun an expansive franchising programme to meet the increasing customer demands across Africa. In the next 5 years, the owners plan to evolve Java House to span 200 stores across all its current countries of operation, with the potential to expand into Nigeria and Ethiopia. As part of Java House’s plan to scale up, it plans to relocate its current factory location to expand its footprint from 4,000 square meters to 6,500 square meters. This grand expansion both in location and franchising brings the luxury of gourmet coffee-drinking culture to new audiences to make Java House an international name.  

However, Java House does not end their franchising at their coffee outlets; in 2011 they introduced a frozen yoghurt shop called Planet Yoghurt, as well as 360 Degrees Artisan Pizza, a casual dining restaurant; both of which they are continuing to expand in line with the Java House coffee brand expansion across the continent. Their latest venture is KuKito, a uniquely Kenyan modern fast-food brand. Java House itself now boasts a range of delicious menus across its outlets to be enjoyed alongside its coffee.  Friends Kevin and Jon have massively scaled up their coffee business, to allow the expansion into other food venues. Java House has now been extended to form the Java group that contains all the above eateries and coffee shops under the Java Group umbrella. Therefore, Java House now belongs to the wider Java Group, showing how much the brand has expanded from its single-store origins in Nairobi. Now Java House is a leading brand in the world of food and beverage markets, and through their overarching Java Group, they have the support and knowledge to continue to expand each of their businesses and franchises across Africa.  

Java House wants to ensure that its local communities are supported, which we see in their establishment of the Java Foundation. The foundation has partnered with Food for Education, in Java Foundation’s hope to feed 1000 school children daily. Food for Education has already served up to 6,000,000 meals to date through their programmes. One programme is Tap2Eat, which uses a digital mobile platform with FinTech to enable public primary school children to access nutritious food throughout their education. The scheme works by allowing parents to pay for the subsidised lunches using mobile money. This money is then credited to the child’s virtual wallet, which then can be linked to NFC smart wristbands for students to scan for their food. The technology allows children to access food whilst at school, whilst keeping it affordable for parents. Java House’s choice in partnering with Food for Education exemplifies its mission to remain an active member of their communities to ensure that children are being given the best chance for education and their future.  

Overall, Java House is a leading coffee brand that has continued to extend its hand across Africa to deliver high-quality and delicious gourmet coffee experiences to its growing customer base. Java House plays a key role through its foundation to support the local community and education projects to ensure that its business always remains focused on giving back. Whilst doing so the owners have been able to expand into other food and beverage services beyond coffee and tackle the world of the food industry using the same methodology to develop and expand their business from its origins into an international brand like Java House.