|Founder||Bruno and Sergio Costa|
|Headquarters||Dunstable, Bedfordshire, England|
Number of locations
|Products||Coffee, tea, sandwiches.|
|£951.9 million (2014/15)|
Costa Coffee is a British multinational coffeehouse company headquartered in Dunstable, Bedfordshire, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Whitbread. It is the second largest coffeehouse chain in the world behind Starbucks and the largest in Britain.
Costa Coffee was founded in London in 1971 by the Costa family as a wholesale operation supplying roasted coffee to caterers and specialist Italian coffee shops. Acquired by Whitbread in 1995, it has since grown to over 2,861 stores across 30 countries. The business has 1,755 UK restaurants, over 3,500 Costa Express vending facilities and a further 1,106 outlets overseas, including over 300 in China. 
Immigrant brothers Bruno and Sergio Costa founded a coffee roastery in Lambeth, London, in 1971, supplying local caterers. The family had moved to England in the 1960s. Costa branched out to selling coffee in 1978, when its first store opened in Vauxhall Bridge Road, London.
In 1985, Sergio bought out Bruno's share of the company. Bruno went on to found a tableware company. By 1995, the chain already had 41 stores in UK. In 1995, the business was acquired by Whitbread, UK's largest hotel and coffee shop operator, becoming a wholly owned subsidiary. In 2009, Costa celebrated the opening of its 1,000th store - in Cardiff. In December 2009, Costa Coffee agreed to acquire Coffee Heaven for £36 million, adding 79 stores in central and eastern Europe.
Costa Coffee operates 1,755 outlets in the United Kingdom as of May 2014. Internationally, it operates 1,106 stores throughout the world in 30 countries.
As well as high street locations, Costa Coffee outlets can be found in airports and within Waterstone's bookstores, WHSmith, Homebase branches, larger Next stores, Marriott Hotels, Odeon Cinemas, some Premier Inn Hotels, Waitrose, Debenhams and Tesco stores, Pizza Hut branches, Beefeater pubs, Moto and RoadChef motorway services and in some hospitals and the Manchester Primark. Smaller sub-units are also set up in railway stations and airports throughout the UK. Many of Costa Coffee's branches located in airports, cinemas and hospitals are either individual or corporate franchises. Costa Coffee also has small outlets positioned on out-of-town business parks, often among other food retailers, and on-site at various businesses.
Costa Coffee currently has branches in many countries.
Following Whitbread's £59.5m acquisition of Coffee Nation, a chain of coffee machines, the machines were re-branded as Costa Express. The company plans to expand to target hospitals, universities and transport interchanges. These coffee bars will use the same coffee beans as used in Costa stores and will use fresh milk.
Costa Coffee has its own roastery. The blend served in retail stores is their own "Mocha Italia"; it contains a blend of arabica (70%) and robusta (30%).
Costa Coffee Club
Costa Coffee has its own loyalty scheme that is called the Costa Coffee Club. Using a Loyalty card or an app for Android phones or iPhones, members may gain points which allows them to get free coffee and other goods. Points are added whenever a purchase is made, and the card or app is presented and swiped or scanned.
Costa Book Awards
Costa Coffee has been the sponsor of the Costa Book Awards (formerly the Whitbread Book Awards) since 2006.
- "Costa Coffee founder: My hometown Purley has too many coffee shops". Croydon Advertiser. 16 October 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
- "Costa Experience - The Journey from Bean to Cup - Costa Coffee". Costa Coffee. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
- Adams, Guy (2 May 2013). "The man who founded Costa Coffee - then sold out for a fraction of its value now - insists he's not bitter. So... WHY does Mr Costa refuse to drink his own coffee?". Daily Mail. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
- "Costa - Our History". http://www.whitbread.co.uk. Whitbread. Retrieved 15 February 2015. External link in
- The Guardian 4 March 2010
- Park View Shopping Centre - Costa Coffee
- "Homepage". Costa Coffee. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
- Growing Business Success Stories - Costa Express: Scott Martin 10 June 2011
- Guardian - Whitbread self serve coffee machines
- Costa Express
- Guy Adams (2 May 2013). "The man who founded Costa Coffee". dailmail.co.uk.
- Costa Coffee: The Perfect Cup
- The Telegraph 9 March 2009
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