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(SEATTLE—August 29, 2007) Espresso Specialists, Inc., one of North America’s leading commercial espresso machines sales and service organizations, announces a name change to Franke Coffee Systems North America effective Monday, August 27, 2007.
The Seattle-based company is one of seven sales and service organizations for Aarburg, Switzerland-based Franke Coffee Systems. “The name ‘Franke Coffee Systems North America’ better connects us to other Franke-owned espresso machine sales and service organizations around the world, and ties us more closely to our parent company, and Franke is simply a winning brand,” said Pat Loraas, president of Franke Coffee Systems North America. “Our focus here remains on spreading the joy of specialty coffee in North America.”
Acquired by Franke in August 2004, Franke Coffee Systems North America started as Visions Espresso Sales in 1978 under the leadership of Founder Kent Bakke. In later years, the company became Espresso Financial Services and then Espresso Specialists. Its history also ties closely to Florence, Italy-based La Marzocco S.r.l. (several common owners and some joint management in the late 1990’s), and Espresso Northwest (merged with Espresso Specialists in 1994). The company will use the phrase “The Espresso Specialists” in its marketing efforts.
Franke Coffee Systems North America will also continue a strong 29-year relationship with La Marzocco. It is La Marzocco’s largest distribution partner. More than doubling its size under Franke ownership to 63 employees, Franke Coffee Systems North America builds its customer base selectively. Its “yin and yang” product mix – superautomatic Franke and traditional La Marzocco espresso machines – attracts foodservice category leaders as well as the finest specialty roasters and retailers in America.
Franke Coffee Systems owns sales and services offices in Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, North America (Seattle) and Switzerland. With distribution in 68 countries, Franke Coffee Systems is the world’s second leading supplier of commercial espresso machines.
Franke is a global supplier of products, services and customized solutions in the household and catering food preparation sectors, broadly defined. The Franke Group, headquartered in Aarburg, Switzerland, is firmly established with 82 subsidiaries in 42 countries, and has approximately 9,000 employees worldwide. The two divisions Franke Kitchen Systems (sinks, extractor hoods, tabs, hobs, ovens) and Franke Foodservice Systems (systems and services for quick service retail) are the global market leaders in their respective segments, with exports to over 100 countries. Further activities of the Franke Group include Franke Washroom Systems (washroom and sanitary systems for public and semi-public use), Franke Coffee Systems with a wide range of superautomatic, professional and semi-professional coffee machines, Franke Beverage Systems as well as industrial engineering. Franke generated consolidated sales of CHF 2,440.1 million ($2,023.8 million USD) in 2006.
Contact: Kelly Traw, VP of marketing, Franke Coffee Systems North America
206.784.9563, ext. 34; firstname.lastname@example.org