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New Zealand’s Cooks Coffee appoints Aiden Keegan as CEO

Keegan joined Cooks Coffee in 2004 and has held several senior roles at Cook’s Esquires Coffee chain globally, most recently as UK Managing Director

An Esquires Coffee store in the Newlands Shopping Centre in Kettering, Northamptonshire | Photo credit: Esquires Coffee


Cooks Coffee has appointed Aiden Keegan as its new CEO to drive outlet growth for its Esquires Coffee chain in the UK and internationally. 

Keegan joined Cooks Coffee in 2004 as Operations Manager for Esquires Coffee in the Republic of Ireland and held operational support roles building the brand in the Middle East before becoming Managing Director of Esquires Coffee UK in October 2018. He will assume the CEO role on 1 April 2024. 

In a press release, Cooks Coffee said Keegan had been a key figure in driving outlet and sales growth for the coffee chain, as well as successfully steering the company through the pandemic. 

“Aiden brings a wealth of experience and a deep understanding of our company, particularly in the core markets of UK and Ireland. His appointment is of paramount importance, as we continue to expand our operations in this region and internationally,” said Keith Jackson, Executive Chairman, Cooks Coffee. 

Keegan said his focus in the newly-crated CEO role will be to navigate the business ‘through strategic shifts’, including building a UK-centric approach. 

In December 2023, Auckland-based Cooks Coffee said it was exploring options to relocate its corporate office from New Zealand to the UK. The dual-listed operator currently operates 60 Esquires stores across the UK alongside 15 in Ireland. The business has a further 15 sites in development and is seeking to reach 100 UK sites by the end of 2026. 

“I am honoured to assume the role of CEO. We will continue to prioritise growth of the franchise store network, ensuring our shareholders’ confidence in our trajectory,” Keegan added. 

Cooks Coffee achieved 18% year-on-year sales growth in the six months ended 30 September 2023 to NZ$27.7m ($17m). Its UK sales increased 22% to NZ$17.8m ($11m) while revenues in Ireland grew 12% to NZ$9.9m ($6m). 

In March 2024, Cooks Coffee announced it was seeking new investment to expand Esquires Coffee in Europe and the Middle East, where it currently operates more than 20 stores across Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait and Bahrain.  

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