Coffee business growing rapidly in Saudi Arabia, says US expert

Ed Arvidson, a consultant with Bellissimo Coffee InfoGroup just returned from a week long consulting trip to Saudi Arabia to work with the large coffee company, Bonnon Coffee. Bellissimo has been working Bonnon for a few months, consulting on their quickly growing coffee retail and wholesale roasting business. There was an article published in Arab News that talks about Bellissimo's visit.

Salem Binmahfouz says "Dear Bellissimo, We are overwhelmed with your keen courage, brilliant personality, and specialized skillfulness. The pleasure is all ours to have met you. Ed, you are a true gentleman and professional. On behalf of myself and BONNON COFFEE team we are grateful for your dedicated visit, inputs, and insights. This is an excellent start and we would like to continue working together toward building lasting successful relationship. My sincere regards to Bruce, Matt and the rest of Bellissimo and Coffee Info."

Here is the text from the article as well:

JEDDAH: Ed Arvidson, senior consultant at the US-based Bellissimo Coffee Info Group, is on a visit to study the Kingdom’s coffee business and explore the prospects for offering Barista training. The group, based in Portland, Oregon, also runs a coffee school where trainees come from the world over for a weeklong course. It has its dedicated websites for coffee school, espresso and coffee universe, which is aimed at creating a community of coffee lovers.

“Bellissimo helps coffee businesses succeed, whether you have a coffee shop start up, or an existing coffee shop, espresso kiosk, coffee cart or espresso,” Arvidson told Arab News on the sidelines of a meeting he had with some senior executives of Bonnon Coffee, which runs a chain of coffee shops.

“Coffee culture is surely growing in many parts of the world including Saudi Arabia,” he said, adding that the United States today has around 40,000 coffee bars and Italy 250,000 espresso bars. “In fact, coffee is becoming popular even in some of the tea drinking nations like Japan and China,” he added.

“What is liked about coffee is its caffeine content. It also depends on how best you make coffee. We select only the finest Arabica beans and roast them to perfection to bring you the highest quality espresso coffee, he said, adding that the group’s mission is to create luxurious, welcoming stores that provide a haven from the cut and thrust of everyday life. Offer of a steaming hot and refreshingly cold cup of coffee with or without a snack menu is immediately lapped up,” he added.

Bonnon Coffee, a 100 percent Saudi enterprise, has six outlets in the city since its establishment three years ago and has plans to increase them to nine before moving out to other parts of the Kingdom. “We also have plans to establish our franchises elsewhere in the Gulf and world,” its Marketing Manager Mohammed S. Al-Nahdi said. It has several Saudi partners some of whom have returned after graduating from the US and Europe.

Although the term coffee culture seems to be exclusively American, the formation of culture around coffee and coffee houses in fact dates back to the earliest coffeehouses founded in the 16th century Turkey. Coffeehouses, or enterprises that specialize in the preparation of coffee drinks, have traditionally been social hubs and artistic centers.

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