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Friend’s Café, Ultra Top Fuel launch new store in Hormigueros

Local coffee shop chain Friend’s Café has partnered with Ultra Top Fuel to open its sixth store using the “ServiCar” franchise model. This collaboration, a first for both companies, combines quality coffee and fresh food with the rapidly expanding gasoline brand in western Puerto Rico.

“We have been friends since our youth, and we saw an opportunity to merge our brands to offer a quality product quickly and affordably with a proven model like our ‘ServiCar,’” said Wilmer Ramírez, co-founder of Friend’s Café.

The new Hormigueros store, located at an Ultra Top Fuel gas station, offers the same variety as the other Friend’s Café locations. The “ServiCar” model was first introduced in 2019 on Highway 2 in Mayagüez, followed by a second location on Highway 2 in Isabela this year.

“My focus is to continue replicating this model to create more jobs while bringing premium coffee to more corners of the island,” said Ramírez, who founded the company in 2007 with his wife, Evelyn Zapata.

In Hormigueros, approximately 30 new direct jobs and about 15 indirect jobs have been created, with most food offerings sourced from local businesses. Friend’s Café currently provides more than 100 jobs in western Puerto Rico and plans to expand to the San Juan metropolitan area next year.

Attorney Gary Biaggi and Jamar Ramírez of Ultra Top Fuel led the acquisition of the Friend’s Café franchise model. The plan is to integrate the coffee shop chain into several Ultra Top Fuel gas stations, making it the “largest expansion of a local company of this kind,” they said.

“Just days after the opening, we can see the love and preference for the Friend’s Café brand. We are proud to be part of their growth and that together, as local companies, we are supporting each other to continue promoting the socioeconomic development of the region,” Ramírez said.

Friend’s Café has locations in Mayagüez at Plaza Colón; Highway 2 with the “ServiCar” concept; Plaza de Rincón; La Parguera; and on the marginal road of Highway 2 in Isabela, also with ServiCar. They are also planning new openings in San Sebastián and two more in Mayagüez.

Top Fuel operates in more than 40 locations from Hatillo to Cayey and in Fajardo, becoming the fastest-growing local gasoline chain on the island.

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