Gloria Jean Kvetko, founder of Gloria Jean’s Coffee, has opened the franchise’s new United States headquarters in Chicago Illinois, where the first store was located.
Opened in 1979 as a gift and coffee shop in Chicago’s outer suburbs, the brand is now international recognised and owned by Australian food and beverage company Retail Food Group (RFG).
Kvetko reflected on launching flavoured coffees at the Chicago headquarters opening on 14 June.
“Hazelnut – it was like discovering God; When I told my husband, we’re putting flavoured coffees on the shelf, he just went nuts [and said] ‘no’,” sais Kvetko. “And I said, ‘Too bad, you lose, [I’m] doing it’. And that changed the coffee world immediately.”
Gloria Jean’s headquarters were moved from Los Angeles to Chicago by RFG to increase the chain’s presence in the Mid-West US region and to drive expansion.
Peter George, Executive Chairman of RFG, says Gloria Jean’s has experienced an upsurge in popularity in the US, even before COVID-19, with the American Market “rewarding personal service and menu innovations”.
Currently there are 52 Gloria Jean stores across 20 states in the US with four new stores expected to be opened in October 2021.
“Gloria Jean Kvetko envisioned a retail experience where the coffee and food offerings were of the highest quality and the service was personal and welcoming,” says George. “We have adhered to that ethos and American consumers are voting with their feet.”
The launch of Gloria Jean’s Chicago headquarters also marks the global launch of Gloria Jean’s premium coffee blend, Glorious.
“It’s an honour to have Gloria Jean Kvetko open our flagship office in Chicago. She set the bar high and knew what American consumers wanted,” says George.