KINGSTON _ Marley Coffee has secured a landmark deal to supply Kroger and Safeway — the largest retail stores in the US with roasted coffee products prompting another US$2.5-million round of investment.
Large US retail stores rarely carry roasted Jamaican coffee and it will result in the hiring of roughly a dozen staff. It comes amidst the company moving its headquarters from Beverly Hills, California to Denver Colorado — the hub of organic America.
Marley Coffee operates a local and US division under the chairmanship of Rohan Marley — son of the reggae legend. Kroger and Safeway are both listed on the New York Stock Exchange and are described as the largest and second largest grocery chains in North America.
Management declined to give figures or volumes under the deal but Bali Vaswani, CEO of Marley Coffee (Jamaica), indicated that the company has completely emptied its inventory until September to meet the initial order.
“Our current supply is sold-out,” added Vaswani. “These are two milestone deals. Buyers can walk into a Kroger and Safeway and pick up products made from Jamaica. This is what I feel proud about doing. So right beside Folgers and other brands they will see Marley Coffee.”
Brent Toevs, chief executive officer of Jammin Java, which trades as Marley Coffee (USA), said that “its the single biggest order” for the company.
“We are pretty excited about that,” he added.
Marley Coffee sales grew 350 per cent year on year to US$1.8 million based on securing similar deals across the globe. Despite the growth in sales, Marley Coffee recorded a US$4-million loss for its year ending January 2013, or two-thirds more than a year earlier. The loss was due to staff benefits and coffee costs. (Observer)