The Coffee Club

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The Coffee Club Franchising Company Pty Ltd
The Coffee Club
IndustryRestaurants, café
FoundedBrisbane, Australia (2 November 1989 (1989-11-02))
FounderEmmanuel Kokoris, Emmanuel Drivas
HeadquartersSouth Brisbane, ,
Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, UAE, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Seychelles, Maldives, Cambodia
Number of locations
300 stores (Australia 2019), 60+ stores (NZ 2019), 60+ stores (Thailand 2019)
Area served
Key people
John Lazarou (co-owner, director)
ProductsCoffee, modern cuisine
Number of employees
  • 8000 (2022)

The Coffee Club is an Australian multinational coffeehouse-style café chain. Originally created in 1989 as a place to get "an excellent coffee",[2] the concept includes cafébar/restaurant stores with expanded menus and full table service. In 2005, The Coffee Club franchise was brought to New Zealand by Brad Jacobs and Andy Lucas opening their first store in Wellington. As of 2021, they have over 65 stores all around New Zealand.


In 1989, friends Emmanuel Kokoris and Emmanuel Drivas were searching for a late-night cup of coffee in Brisbane. Their unsuccessful attempt led them to plan a new business venture: The Coffee Club,[2] which rested on the Greek concept of 'philoxenia' - hospitality to strangers.[3]

The first store opened on 2 November 1989 at Eagle Street Pier in Brisbane.

On 1 July 1994 The Coffee Club became a franchise.[4]

In November 2005 the first international store was opened in Wellington, New Zealand, by master franchisees Bradley Jacobs and Andy Lucas. As of May 2019, they have operated 64 cafes throughout New Zealand.

In October 2007, Thai company Minor International announced it would acquire a 50% stake in The Coffee Club.[5] The move not only advanced plans to expand The Coffee Club into Asia and the Middle East[6] but also assists expansion of brands such as Swensen's ice creams into Australia.[5] Minor International paid more than $23 million for their share of The Coffee Club.[7] The first Thai store opened in December 2008.[8]

In September 2011, The Coffee Club group acquired Australian steakhouse chain Ribs and Rumps, which Drivas says is a family-friendly brand "appealing to the same customer base" as The Coffee Club.[9]

As at October 2013, The Coffee Club at Brisbane Airport was the busiest in Australia; Townsville's Domain retail centre was the second busiest.[10]

In 2021 The Coffee Club was inducted into the Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame, in recognition of its successful development from Australia’s leading coffee retail business into a major, thriving international brand through sustained entrepreneurship.[3]

Responsible business practices[edit]

In 2009, The Coffee Club joined the UTZ Certification program,[11] promoting fair and sustainable coffee production.[12]

In 2011, The Coffee Club joined the RSPCA's "Choose Wisely" campaign,[13] promoting humane food production.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Chrysopoulos, Philip (29 April 2022). "John Lazarou, The Greek-Australian "King of Coffee"". Retrieved 11 July 2022.
  2. ^ a b Papapostolou, Anastasios (22 August 2008). "Greek-Australian "Coffee Experts" are Looking to Enter the Greek Market". Greek Reporter. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
  3. ^ a b "The Coffee Club". Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame. Retrieved 18 May 2022.
  4. ^ Ogg, Matthew. "Cafe Culture" (PDF). Brisbane Business News. Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 November 2015.
  5. ^ a b Robertson, Josh (22 October 2007). "Coffee Club Grows and Grows". The Courier-Mail. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
  6. ^ "The Coffee Club launches first Asian franchise". Franchising magazine. 14 November 2008. Retrieved 17 October 2011.
  7. ^ Chadwick, Vince (7 February 2012). "Double-shot espresso for coffee shop group". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 21 March 2014.
  8. ^ Munday, Jayne (28 June 2011). "Coffee Club takes its brew to China". Queensland Business Review. Retrieved 17 October 2011.
  9. ^ Burke, Jessica (12 September 2011). "Coffee Chain Buys Up Steak Houses". Food Magazine. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
  10. ^ Sparkes, David (2 October 2013). "Coffee Club at Townsville's Domain retail centre named brand's second busiest in Australia". Townsville Bulletin. Archived from the original on 15 November 2015.
  11. ^ The Coffee Club, More About Our UTZ CERTIFIED Coffee, archived from the original on 10 November 2010
  12. ^ UTZ CERTIFIED - Registered Members, UTZ, retrieved 15 October 2011
  13. ^ The Coffee Club Joins Choose Wisely, RSPCA, 1 August 2011, archived from the original on 28 February 2015, retrieved 25 September 2011

External links[edit]