Mon, Nov 25, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Second 85oC store for US inside a week

Staff writer, with CNA

Gourmet Master Co (美食達人), which owns the bakery and coffee chain 85oC (85度C), on Friday opened its second new store of the week in California as the chain expects to increase the pace of new operations in the US market.

The latest store — the chain’s sixth in the US — is located in Gardena in the Greater Los Angeles area. Customers were seen lining up outside the store as early as 8am, before the official opening at 10am.

Stephanie Peng, a manager of Gourmet Master’s US operations, said the completion of a central kitchen in September, which can supply between 30 and 50 outlets, will allow the chain to open new stores at a faster pace.

The chain recently entered the northern California market after opening a store in Newark, southeast of San Francisco, on Nov. 15. Another store in Garden Grove in southern California is scheduled to open next month.

Peng said the firm, which expanded into the US in 2008, plans to open 15 new stores next year.

Meanwhile, Chung Ching-ju (鐘靜如), head of marketing of the Taiwanese chain, said the performance of existing US stores has boosted Gourmet Master’s confidence in the North American market.

With a back office and equipment in place, Chung said the chain will also consider expanding beyond the US’ West Coast.

In Taiwan, the firm has more than 700 85oC outlets. The chain also has stores in China and Australia, according to its Web site.

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