Savills News

Black & White Coffee Cartel expands throughout South Island

Black & White Coffee Cartel is looking for operators to help it continue its rapid expansion throughout the South Island and beyond.

Black & White Coffee Cartel, the boutique Christchurch-based micro-roasting café group, is looking for operators to help it continue its rapid expansion throughout the South Island and beyond.

Following the success of its 13 existing sites in Christchurch, Rangiora, Rolleston and Queenstown (Frankton), the company has appointed Savills to exclusively manage its site acquisition, leasing and operator negotiations as it looks to grow further and open more than 15 new cafés in the South Island.

Savills Leasing broker Toby Nicholls, who is handling Black & White’s expansion with business brokerage colleague Norman Engel, says opportunities are being offered to operators looking to join the cartel and open their own boutique café-roasteries.

Following the opening of five sites in the past year and a half, a further three are under construction in Christchurch and due to open in the coming months. The final immediately-available site, in the Christchurch suburb of Beckenham, is now being offered to operators.

Black & White is also looking for operators in Dunedin, with several potential sites being considered. In addition, operators are being sought for cafés in centres such as Invercargill, Queenstown town centre, Wanaka, Oamaru, Timaru and Ashburton, says Nicholls.

“This is a really exciting group to be part of. Black & White don’t follow the traditional café franchise model – the key difference is that all operators roast their own beans on-site, which puts a key part of the supply chain under their control.”

With beans making up anywhere from a third to half the cost of running a café, this is a significant benefit to operators of Black & White café-roasteries, says Engel.

“The boutique roastery model has proven to be a strong attraction to operators so far, as there are few opportunities to enter the market as a dedicated coffee roaster.

“Black & White’s model is the only one of its kind in New Zealand and one of only a few in the world where the roaster as a separate entity is cut out of the supply chain, reducing the cost of the beans for operators and directing more profit to them.”

No specific roasting experience is necessary other than a passion for great coffee, says Nicholls.

“Black & White sells its operators a roasting kitset and provides full training and ongoing support in using the equipment, which is deliberately selected to be an easily-manageable size and capacity.

“Operators also benefit from group buying power, with the company negotiating prices down and passing those benefits on to its operators.”

Black & White also encourages operators to stamp their own mark on their premises with individually-designed fit-outs, says Nicholls.

“A key part of the Black & White ethos is that each café should have an independent, boutique feel, in contrast to the cookie-cutter interiors of the big franchise chains.”

As well as South Island expansion, the company is also setting its sights on the North Island and overseas under master-franchise models, he says.

Black & White Coffee Cartel was founded by Bink Bowler, who runs the group alongside two co-directors and shareholders: brother Luke Bowler and former All Black captain Reuben Thorne. The first café under the Black & White brand, on Victoria St in Christchurch, opened in early 2015.

Working exclusively with Savills means potential Black & White café operators benefit from a streamlined property search process, with a short list of sites presented for consideration.

Savills then negotiates with landlords on behalf of Black & White and the operator, with the aim of providing a turnkey solution to a Black & White café-roastery that is fully fitted out and ready to begin roasting and brewing, Engel says.

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