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Sobao coffee shop inaugurates Isla Verde location, more planned

Puerto Rican chain Sobao by Los Cidrines announced the official opening of its new and fourth restaurant, located at the Hotel Residence Inn by Marriott, in the Isla Verde tourist area in Carolina.

With an investment of approximately $600,000 and 25 direct jobs generated by this new location, the company, which specializes in a casual menu of sandwiches, breakfasts, soups and salads as well as pastries, seeks to strengthen its presence in the market, and attract locals and tourists, owner Mateo Cidre said.

The new Sobao by Los Cidrines spans 3,800 square feet, with a seating capacity of 75 people, and includes an outdoor terrace that connects to the bar.

As part of the concept, Sobao is incorporated technology to enable customers to place their orders at six interactive kiosks, where they will see the full menu and be able to pay through cashless options, he explained.

Once the order is ready, they will be notified via the Sobao by Los Cidrines app once downloaded to their mobile devices. That tool is also open for customers wanting to place orders for pick-up, especially guests of the 242-room Residence Inn, he said.

“We don’t offer room service, but guests can order and come down for their orders. We opened July 19 and since then, the reception has been incredible. This past Labor Day weekend, which was rainy, was especially good for us,” he said.

The kiosk concept is being tested at the newest location, with plans to integrate it into the other three existing Sobao shops in Condado, San Francisco and San Juan, Cidre told News is my Business.

“Our plans are to continue expanding to other municipalities next year and opening the first Sobao in the United States [mainland] in the near future,” he said confirming plans to open locations in Caguas, Guaynabo, and Dorado by 2024.

As for breaking into the US mainland, Cidre said the intent is to not only draw the Puerto Rican and Hispanic crowd that may already know and has tasted the island’s coffee, but to attract a new group of North American consumers to what Sobao has to offer.

The chain sells 100% Puerto Rican coffee sold under the Encantos and works with local delivery company Uva! to cater to customers who order and want door-to-door service.

“We work with Puerto Rican firms, that’s our mission, to support them and each other,” Cidre said.

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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