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Miami-based Grand Havana Cafe opening shops in Puerto Rico

Miami-based Grand Havana Cafe announced it has entered negotiations with AM:PM City Market Corp. to acquire its business portfolio in Puerto Rico, which includes locations in Isla Verde and Hato Rey.

After the closing — expected to happen during the first semester of 2022 — the shops will be converted into Grand Havana Cafes, company CEO Robert Rico confirmed to News is my Business.

The financial terms of the agreement were undisclosed, although Rico said his company is leasing the locations from owner City Market Corp. Buying the properties “is a possibility,” he said.

The Isla Verde store on Isla Verde Avenue in Carolina will be the first to be adopt the new identity, which evokes the streets of Cuba.

If the deal closes, it will represent Grand Havana Café’s first expansion outside its main market of South Florida, where it has locations in Key West, Aventura, and Ft. Pierce, he said. It will also add more than $1.2 million in new sales for the company.

Grand Havana has already had a presence in the AM:PM stores through the sale of its premium coffee.

“After numerous negotiations and the company’s ongoing plans to increase our footprint in Puerto Rico, we decided it was time to bring our Grand Havana Cafe to Puerto Rico,” said Rico.

“The acquisition would help to extend Grand Havana’s business in developing Latin American markets, while also creating potential future consolidation within Central and South America,” he said.

Grand Havana coffee products are distributed in Puerto Rico through OC Coffee, run by Oswaldo Chévere, and beans are roasted with partner Hacienda San Pedro.

“We’re Florida-based, but we love Puerto Rico. We want to reach in there and be part of the community,” said Rico. “We want to create jobs in Puerto Rico, grow in Puerto Rico, and have a full commitment to Puerto Rico.”

While Grand Havana has three physical cafés, its brand of premium coffee is sold at some 200 shops in South Florida, including Estefan’s Kitchen, Mangos’, and Half Moon Empanadas.

Rico predicted that Grand Havana will “go beyond the first two [locations in Puerto Rico] if it goes well.”

The company plans to retain the 10 employees at the two AM:PM stores, he confirmed.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 29 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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