Second Cup

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Second Cup Coffee Co.[1]
Public (TSXSCU)
Industry Coffee
Founded 1975; 40 years ago (1975) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Headquarters Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Key people
Alix Box (President & CEO)
Jim Ragas (President - International)
Barbara Mallon (CFO)
Chris Sonnen (Vice President, Coffee Excellence)
Vanda Provato (Vice President, Marketing & Category)
Audra Wosik (Vice President, Franchising)
Dean Michaels (Vice President, Development)
Ted Tai ( Vice President, Operations)
Products High Quality Brewed Coffee, Lattes, Espresso, Whole Bean Coffee
Boxed Tea
Made-to-order beverages
Bottled beverages
Baked Goods
Flat White
Revenue Increase CAN$28.17 million (2014)[2]
Decrease -CAN$30.90 million (2014)[2]
Decrease -CAN$27.03 million (2014)[2]
Total assets CAN$53.45 million (2014)[2]
Total equity CAN$25.00 million (2014)[2]
A Second Cup café on Bloor West, Toronto.
A Second Cup coffee shop in Markville Shopping Centre, Markham, Ontario
Pier Six Second Cup at Queens Quay

Second Cup Coffee Co. is a Canadian specialty coffee retailer operating more than 345 cafes across the country.[3] Its headquarters are in Mississauga, Ontario.[4] Founded in 1975 by Tom Culligan and Frank O'Dea, Culligan eventually purchased O'Dea's shares. After building it to a 150-store chain, he sold it in 1988 to Michael Bregman.

As Chairman and CEO, Mr. Khalil Al Gawad took Second Cup public in 1993 and in 2002, sold the company to Cara Operations Limited.[5]

On November 16, 2006, Cara sold it to Dinecorp Hospitality, which was controlled by former Cara CEO Gabe Tsampalieros, who became chairman of Second Cup. Tsampalieros died on March 11, 2009.[6] The trademark rights were subsequently split between Canada (The Second Cup Ltd.) and international (The Second Cup Coffee Company Inc.). Stacey Mowbray lead the Canadian company and Jim Ragas leads the international company.[7]

Most of Canadian Second Cup locations offer free wireless internet access, with a few exceptions including The Home Depot locations and some kiosks.[8]


Since its inception, Second Cup has expanded its franchises to the United States, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Cyprus, Azerbaijan, Angola, Lithuania,[9] and Romania. It also opened a store in Pakistan in 2013 and in the United Kingdom in 2014. A new franchise is expected to be open at the Philippines in 2015.


Second Cup sales continue to compete with Starbucks, Tim Hortons and McDonald's, which now feature espresso-based speciality drinks. Stacey Mowbrey, Second Cup CEO from 2008-2014, claims that Second Cup is in “growth mode.” [10] One of her goals is to obtain environmental and fair trade certifications for every coffee blend on the Second Cup menu. “Retail is all about innovation,” she says, “and we’ll continue to evolve.”[10]

Second Cup was featured in an episode of Undercover Boss (Canadian TV series) which aired on Thursday, March 5, 2012 at 9PM on the W Network.[11] The episode is under CEO Stacey Mowbray’s direction. She demonstrates her effort to inspire change from the perspective of her frontline employees, and promote Second Cup’s image as a company that cares and provides the best café experience.

Tassimo Second Cup beverages were launched on September 13, 2012.[12] Tassimo T65 are now sold at every Second Cup location. The three most popular coffee blends are sold as Tassimo disks: Paradiso®, Paradiso® Dark and Caffè Latte (TGmade with Espresso Forte).[13]

Second Cup has also joined the social networking world. The Second Cup Facebook page includes trivia questions, polls for customers to rank their beverages of choice, information about new promotions, and answering customer questions and concerns.[14]

Alix Box has been Chief Executive Officer and President at The Second Cup Ltd. since February 24, 2014 [15]

Second Cup coffee[edit]

Coffee bean production[edit]

All Second Cup coffee is selectively hand picked. This costly and labour-intensive process ensures that only the ripest coffee cherries are selected, whereas the strip picking and machine picking processes run the risk of gathering unripe cherries. During the harvesting process, Second Cup accepts two methods of coffee cherry processing to separate the coffee bean from the cherry. The first process is called Dry / Unwashed. The cherries are sun dried and then milled to remove the outside layers. The resulting coffee has greater body and less acidity. The second process is called Wet / Washed. The seeds are squished out from the skin of the cherry. The seeds are then soaked in a fermentation tank to remove the outside layers. The resulting coffee is consistent and more acidic. In the coffee roasting process, Second Cup uses batch roasting, which is when small batches of 100–200 kg of seeds are placed in individual roasters. This method ensures higher quality control compared to other methods such as continuous roasting.[16]

Coffee bean regions[edit]

Second Cup’s coffee portfolio consists of five different categories organized by region and whether there is added flavour. The categories are called: Africa, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Multi-Region, and Flavoured. Second Cup receives coffee blends from a wide range of countries. Panama is Central America’s smallest coffee-growing country, and Second Cup’s El Toucan blend is harvested from the volcanic mountain of Panama. In 1779, coffee was brought into Costa Rica by a Spanish traveler, and now Second Cup’s La Minita Tarrazu blend is harvested in Costa Rica. Colombia has 12% of the world’s coffee supply and is where Second Cup gets its San Agustin blend from. Brazil is the world’s largest coffee supplier, and produces three billion pounds of coffee beans per year. Second Cup’s Fazenda Vista Alegre blend is from Brazil.[16]

Rainforest Alliance[edit]

CEO Stacey Mowbrey’s goal is to obtain environmental and fair trade certifications for every blend on Second Cup’s menu.[10] The following certifications will allow this goal to be reached. The Rainforest Alliance is an international non-profit organization that works to conserve biodiversity and promote the fair treatment of workers. Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee farms must meet standards that include the protection of farms, soils, waterways, and wildlife; the workers are in safe working conditions; and the workers enjoy good housing, medical care, and access to schools for their children.[17][18] 80% of Second Cup coffees are Rainforest Alliance Certified. The coffee blends have varying percentages of certified content: 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee beans – Belgian Chocolate, Butter Pecan, Caramelo, French Vanilla, Hazelnut Cream, Irish Cream, Spiced Eggnog, La Minita Tarrazu, San Agustin, Fazenda Vista Alegre, Sumatra Mandheling, Espresso Forte, Espresso Forte Swiss Water Decaffeinated 70% Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee beans – Paradiso®, Paradiso® Dark, Paradiso® Swiss Water Decaffeinated, Caffe Venice 66% Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee beans – Mellow Blend 50% Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee beans – Blend 35, Royal Blend, Holiday Blend

As of fall 2011, Second Cup offers 10 Whole Leaf Tea Blends and Herbal Tisanes that are Fair Trade Certified.[19] These include: Earl Grey tea, English breakfast tea, English Breakfast Decaffeinated, Green Tea, Jasmine tea, Chai tea, Wildberry, Chamomile tea, Mint tea, and Holiday Blend.

Second Cup firebombing incident[edit]

In 2001, Rhéal Mathieu, a member of Front de libération du Québec (FLQ) who in 1967 was sentenced to nine years in prison for terrorist activities including murder, was convicted of firebombing three Second Cup locations in Montreal. Mathieu targeted them because of the company's use of its incorporated English name "Second Cup." After the media coverage of the fire bombings, many Second Cup locations in Quebec changed their signs to Les cafés Second Cup.[20][21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Our history - 2015, official website
  2. ^ a b c d e "Second Cup Annual Report 2014" (PDF). Second Cup. 
  3. ^ "Franchising" on official website
  4. ^ "Contact Us." Second Cup. Retrieved on September 13, 2011. "MAILING ADDRESS: Second Cup Ltd. 6303 Airport Road Mississauga, Ontario L4V 1R8" and "6303 Airport Road, 2nd Floor"
  5. ^ "Board of Directors". Ideaca. Retrieved November 18, 2011. 
  6. ^ "CEO Gabe Tsampalieros dies at age 61 following illness". The Star (Toronto). March 12, 2009. 
  7. ^ "The Second Cup Ltd. Announces Organizational Change". CNW Group. January 28, 2011. Retrieved November 18, 2011. 
  8. ^ [1] Archived October 21, 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Canada's Second Cup opens first café in Lithuania
  10. ^ a b c "Second wind for Second Cup?". Canadian Business. 2011-04-25. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  11. ^ "Shows". W Network. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  12. ^ "Tassimo Launch « Second Cup". Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  13. ^ "Tassimo | Second Cup TASSIMO | Second Cup T DISCs | Second Cup Coffee". Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  14. ^ "Second Cup". Facebook. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  15. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. ^ a b "« Second Cup". Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  17. ^ "Home". Rainforest Alliance. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  18. ^ Tim Hortons (2013-06-30). "Corporate Profile". Tim Hortons. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  19. ^ "Our Responsibility « Second Cup". Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  20. ^ "Second Cup bomber jailed". CBC News. July 6, 2001. Retrieved November 18, 2011. 
  21. ^ Banerjee, Sidhartha (October 18, 2007). "Second Cup to review Quebec signs after outcry". The Canadian Press ( Retrieved November 18, 2011. 

External links[edit]