|Headquarters||Seoul, South Korea|
Caffè Bene is a coffeehouse chain based in Seoul, South Korea. It was founded in May 2008 by Sun-Kwon Kim. Caffè Bene is the largest coffeehouse chain in South Korea by number of stores. As of April 24, 2012, Caffè Bene has 760 outlets in South Korea. Caffè Bene made its international debut in New York City in February 2012 and opened the second international store in Beijing, China one month later. Caffè Bene now has 3 outlets in China and has signed with 7 countries to open further stores.
As of April 4, 2014, Caffè Bene is operating 945 stores in Korea, 86 in the United States, 283 in China, 1 store in Canada, 5 in Philippines, 5 in Indonesia, 4 in Saudi Arabia, 2 stores each in Mongolia and Malaysia, and one each in Brunei, Cambodia, Singapore, Japan and Vietnam. The number of stores continues to grow.
Sun-Kwon Kim, chairman and CEO of Caffè Bene, traveled to Canada and saw that the local coffee shops were very popular. He had confidence that he could create a brand that could compete with the cafes he saw. Caffè Bene is designed after European open-air cafes. The word "Bene" in the brand name comes from the Italian word for "good." This brand combines the European open-air atmosphere and traditional Korean culture of "Sarangbang".
New York City
Caffè Bene launched its first international store in New York City, on February 1, 2012. Located on 44th Street and 8th Avenue in Manhattan's Theater District, near Times Square, it is 600 square metres (6,500 sq ft), one of the biggest coffee shops in the area. Caffè Bene "specializes in coffee drinks and Belgian waffles, including savory varieties with bacon and Parmesan in the dough". The location's interior design was inspired by several city landmarks, including the Brooklyn Bridge and the New York City Subway. According to Caffè Bene, the company used recycled materials for its design.
Caffè Bene branch opened in Los Angeles in the summer of 2012 on the ground floor of CGV mall with other famous South Korean cafe competitors such as Paris Baguette and Tom n Toms. It has a multimedia projector with K-pop music in addition to wooden tables and cement floors. In 2013, another Bene launched on Wilshire Boulevard and Berendo Street. Critics and visitors have claimed that the new Bene carries a cozier feel in addition to its high ceilings, similar with the previous Bene except revamped with improved design, structure, and atmosphere.
Like other coffee chains, Caffè Bene sells brewed coffee, espresso drinks, hot and cold beverages, pastries, sandwiches, waffles, gelato, and features a rotating seasonal menu with accompanying seasonal fare.
In addition, Caffè Bene features misugaru, a traditional Korean drink, which "consists of black sesame seeds, black bean, black and brown rice and barley". According to their press release, Misugaru "is rich in vitamins, calcium, magnesium, molybdenum, folate and selenium". Misugaru frappes and lattes, along with bingsu and Asian-inspired sandwiches, are a feature that showcase the fusion of Korean and European coffee culture that characterizes Caffè Bene's menu and atmosphere.
- The first store in Cambodia and Taiwan opened in November 2013.
- The first store in Japan and Mongolia opened in December 2013.
- The first store in Indonesia opened in 2013
- The first store in Malaysia opened in March 2014.
- The first store in Vietnam opened in August 2014.
- The first store in Singapore opened in November 2015.
- The first store in Brunei Darussalam opened in March 2017.
- (April 24, 2012)"승승장구 카페베네…주식시장에서도 통할까?" ("Caffè Bene...Doing Just Fine in the Stock Market?"), 매일경제 (Economic Daily)
- Public website of Caffè bene
- "Caffebene to add Little Falls drive-through". North Jersey Media Group. November 12, 2014. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
- Lindsey Kelleher (December 29, 2014). "New coffee franchise comes to Little Falls". North Jersey Media Group. Retrieved December 29, 2014.
- Bene History
- (February. 26, 2012)토종 브랜드 카페베네 뉴욕 타임스 스퀘어 1호점 오픈 시티신문
- (February. 2, 2012)'A Peek at Seoul-Based Caffe Bene, Now Open in Times Square', [[Grub Street New York]]
- "The caffébene, a New Korean Imported Café at Times Square, Launches Homemade Multigrain Drink, Misugaru Latte" (Press release). caffebene. March 6, 2012 – via PR Web.