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South Africa-based Coco Safar to open flagship New York store

The bakery café chain will open its US location, a flagship store in New York next year as it eyes further expansion in the US and the Middle East 

Coco Safar currently operates four boutique cafés in Cape Town, South Africa | Photo credit: Coco Safar

South Africa-based bakery café group Coco Safar will kickstart its international expansion in 2023 with a flagship location in New York. 

The boutique group, which currently operates four locations across Cape Town, will open on Union Square, near 5th Avenue.  

"We chose New York because we feel Coco Safar's devotion to authenticity and innovation will resonate with the pioneering spirit of the Big Apple. The city is accessible, incredibly exciting and a showcase for the rest of the world," said Wilhelm Liebenberg, Co-Founder, Coco Safar. 

The company said it has been ‘blown away’ by the demand for its croissant and premium coffee offer and is seeking to further cement its position in the global ‘luxury café, bakery and patisserie scene’. 

The group also operates several micro businesses, including a retail range of compostable specialty coffee and rooibos tea capsules and a coffee roastery and lab. 

Coco Safar was founded by Wilhelm Liebenberg, a South African born Canadian, and Caroline Sirois a French-Canadian in 2005, with the company’s first two pop-up pilots debuting in Montreal in 2006.  

Coco Safar had previously targeted US expansion in 2008 but put plans to launch in Manhattan in 2008 on hold due to the financial crisis at the time. It did however launch its coffee products in New York in 2011 via a partnership with the Core Club, replacing Starbucks as the exclusive coffee provider for the private member’s club. 

Having opened its first bricks-and-mortar site in Cape Town in 2016, the company is also set to launch two stores in Johannesburg, South Africa, in the coming months. Additionally, Coco Safar has cited the UAE and Qatar as markets of interest. 

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