New York – In what was a shocking development, the specialty coffee chain Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf abruptly closed its 12 Manhattan locations last week. The shops were all franchises, not company-owned. The word is that the current franchise owners somehow ran into difficulty and that the company is committed to find another franchise operator. Ironically, the network was the closest thing to being a national kosher chain, albeit that not all of it stores were kosher. On its Website, Coffee Bean notes: “All stores operated in Southern California, Arizona, Nevada, New York and Florida are proudly Kosher. You will see a Kosher Certificate prominently displayed in these stores. Additionally, all of our coffees and teas as well as the powders used to make our beverages are Kosher. The availability of Kosher certified food varies by location.”
Many kosher customers were disappointed since the stores rapidly became the meeting place for many kosher observant Jews. Although the menu varied from location to location, in many stores the kosher menu was pretty extensive, including sandwiches, salads, wraps and other dishes.
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is an American coffee chain founded in 1963. It is owned and operated by International Coffee & Tea, LLC, which has its corporate headquarters in Los Angeles, California. As of August 2015, the chain has over 1000 self-owned and franchised stores in the United States and 24 other countries.