The Japanese boutique café group has launched in Canada with a store in Toronto after 15 months of pandemic-related delays, and plans to open further outlets in British Columbia in 2023
A % Arabica store in Kyoto, Japan | Photo credit: White.Rainforest
Japan’s % Arabica has opened its first store in Canada in Toronto's Yorkdale shopping centre.
The boutique café group, which operates more than 130 stores globally, first announced plans to launch two stores in Toronto in October 2022.
However, the project was delayed by 15 months due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The brand’s second Toronto store, at Union Station, is set to open in March 2023 before expansion to British Columbia in June 2023.
Kobe Lee, Global Head Barista for % Arabica, said the group is initially targeting between 10-20 stores in Canada.
“We are extremely excited to enter the Canadian market. We have a deep love for Canada and anticipate Canadians will feel the same way about our coffee. The opening of our first Canadian brick and mortar inside Yorkdale Shopping Centre marks the first of many openings across Canada. In 2023 we will be opening another Toronto location inside Union station. We’re also thrilled to announce we’ll expand to the West Coast with a location in Whistler, British Columbia,” said Kenneth Shoji, Founder, % Arabica.
Since launching its first store in 2014 in Kyoto, Japan, % Arabica has grown an international network of 136 franchised stores.
The coffee chain currently operates across 19 countries, including 70 in its largest market China and 35 across the Middle East.
According to % Arabica’s website, the boutique chain will soon open stores in Vietnam, the Philippines, Spain, Mexico and Hungary with an additional location in Brunei also in the pipeline.