Gloria Jean’s Coffee returning to Hungary with 10 new stores planned


The Gloria Jean’s Coffee brand has said it is returning to Hungary with plans for 10 new stores in the next five years. The first two shops are slated to open around St. Stephen’s Basilica and in the Arena Mall this month and in September, respectively.

Muddassar Alvi, CEO of Gloria Jeanʼs Coffee Hungary

According to Tahir Mahmood, chief operations officer of Gloria Jean’s Coffees Hungary Kft., the brand was one of the pioneers of the big coffee chains importing American-style cafe culture to Budapest (itself no stranger to the coffee house) in 2006, with two stores at the Hero’s Square and Mammut Shopping Mall. The financial crisis in Hungary in 2008 forced the previous owners to close, however. 

“We are the biggest franchise partners of Gloria Jeanʼs Coffee in the United States and have 13 stores in Chicago; we are the proud owners of the very first store of Gloria Jeanʼs Coffees from where it all started,” Mahmood told the Budapest Business Journal.  

“After our success in Chicago, we have now bought the rights as master franchise owner for Hungary from RFG (Retail Food Group) Australia, which owns Gloria Jean’s Coffees with other brands like Crust Pizza, Donut King, Michel’s Patisserie, Pizza Capers, Brumby’s Bakeries, Cafe2U and The Coffee Guy.” 

In addition to being COO, Mahmood says he is in Budapest to manage the operations of the franchise, and is a partner in Gloria Jean’s Coffees Hungary Master Franchise with Muddassar Alvi. 

Alvi, CEO of GJC Hungary says, “We are excited to be launching the Gloria Jean’s Coffee brand into the Hungarian market, as we believe it has a unique positioning and modern feel from store design to menu that local consumers will love.” 

He adds that the brand is committed to buying from suppliers that look after both their workers and the environment.  

Innovative Blends

“We aim to offer the best ‘bean-to-cup’ experience, collaborating with the finest growers, roasting in house and crafting innovative blends. We understand coffee is a ritual not a routine, and want every coffee lover across Hungary to create a chapter that involves us,” Alvi explains. 

Mahmood adds that the first two locations will open as corporate stores and GJC Hungary is looking for partners who could enter the franchise “with cash of at least Euros 250,000.” 

The coffee brand was founded almost 40 years ago in 1979 in Long Grove, Ill., a small town just north of Chicago, by Gloria Jean Kvetko and her husband Ed, who saw the opportunity to offer specialty gourmet coffees in a warm and friendly atmosphere. The founders sold their franchise in 1993.

The first international Gloria Jean’s Coffees outlet opened in Sydney, Australia in 1996. The brand is now serving specialty coffee in close to 753 coffee houses in more than 50 countries. Its vision is to be the most loved and respected coffee company worldwide. 

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