| Palestine

Café Barbera set to launch in Palestine with co-branded store

Local franchisees Ihmoud Saed Kouk & Saed Yousef Kouk have attained exclusive master franchise rights for Café Barbera in Palestine and will launch its first store alongside US juice bar Smoothie Factory

A Café Barbera store in Bay City, UAE | Photo credit: Café Barbera


Italy’s Café Barbera has announced it will enter the Palestinian market with a dual-branded drive-thru store alongside US juice bar Smoothie Factory. 

Local franchisees, Ihmoud Saed Kouk & Saed Yousef Kouk, will open the dual-branded outlet in July 2023 within their Signature Suites & Hotel site in Ramallah. 

In a press release, Café Barbera said the Kouk family has also secured exclusive master franchise rights to develop additional stores in Palestine and distribute Café Barbera packaged coffee to Palestinian hospitality businesses.  

“We are thrilled to launch Cafè Barbera concept in Ramallah as part of our expansion in the region and we are excited by the collaboration with Smoothie Factory which will enhance a complete experience for our customers in Palestine,’’ said Dr. Enrico Barbera, CEO of Cafè Barbera. 

Having opened its first franchised store in 2004, Café Barbera currently operates 40 outlets across 16 countries. 

Palestine adds to the Italian coffee chain’s growing presence in the Middle East, where it has nine outlets in the UAE, five in Iraq, three in Bahrain, two in Kuwait, two in Egypt, two in Morocco and one in each of Jordan and Djibouti.   

The dual-branded outlet also marks another step in Café Barbera’s bid to diversify its store portfolio to boost outlet growth across new and existing markets.  

In April 2023, the Italian coffee chain unveiled a 270sq ft modular Café Barbera Mini concept tailored for high streets, shopping centres, commercial buildings, universities, offices areas, airports and metro stations. 

Founded in 1996, Texas-based Smoothie Factory operates across 20 countries with a Middle East presence spanning Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. 

Smoothie Factory President James Villasana said the juice bar franchise and Café Barbera are ‘two very diverse brands’ but are very similar from an operations standpoint.  

“There’s tremendous value in co-branding, not only to expand the customer base and from a real estate perspective, but also in becoming the guest’s preference as a one-stop-shop, no matter their craving,” he said. 

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