Is There Room for Juan Valdez Cafes?

The Columbia-based parent company of the Juan Valdez coffee chain is looking to franchise stores across North America in attempts to expand the brand. Outside of Colombia it only runs about 27 locations.

But so far the company-owned units haven’t had the best of luck in the US. It closed locations in Seattle, Washington DC and one in New York’s Times Square.

The product certainly has brand recognition here. Juan Valdez is sold in Walmart and other stores across the country. And lots of people probably remember those Juan Valdez commercials that used to run.

But with Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts and regional chains all over the place, is there room for another player with a large footprint?

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6 Responses to “Is There Room for Juan Valdez Cafes?”


  1. 1 Sue March 5, 2010 at 9:12 am

    Juan Valdez has also closed their Philadelphia locations.

  2. 2 Tahitijack March 5, 2010 at 11:39 am

    The only Seattle Juan Valdez I tried was a storefront display window of a Macy’s in the downtown shopping district. Great location, visibility and strong foot traffic but there were just too many alternatives, including about 6 SBUX within a few blocks, with a better brew. Now, the real question is….will Juan Valdez allow or ban guns in the shops?

  3. 3 james March 5, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    They have a great concept the problem is execution. Now days competing with service and innovation is what pays off, you can have the best coffee served but if they get you the wrong order or simply not treat you right, nobody is going to return. The locations are also odd Seattle when they have 400K potential customer (Colombians) of Colombian coffee in Miami??? they just need to follow Starbucks lead just like BK follows McDonalds (or the other way around).

  4. 4 Cameron Maness March 5, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    I wonder if the company should have looked at less visible leasing locations that might have attracted a more focused and targeted audience? Jumping right into spaces that compete directly w/ Starbucks doesn’t seem like a solid business model. I think the concept is fantastic and I’m sure if the product on the menu were of good quality, the franchise should have a decent chance of success. I’d like to see them go back to the drawing board on the real estate issue in their busines model and revise it accordingly.

  5. 5 Robert Lecompte March 9, 2010 at 8:46 am

    When I was in Armenia,Quindio, Colombia, the coffea city, capital of the world, I have enjoyed taking a coffea from their outdoor coffea stands. They had different flavors and choices of liquors that made this experience very unique. Tasting this rich coffea in this very humid and tropical atmosphere, in downtown Central Plaza on a quiet Sunday morning was for me extraordinairy and memorable moment.

    Being a marketing expert myself I believe they have to re-create somehow this tropical feeling like if you were there almost and adjust the offer to every state or province depending on their way of living or accepting the changes. They must learn how to adjust to all these macro economic markets. Not just offering coffea but also finding home made pastries and breakfeast that fit with the local community as per their everyday behavior.

    People are willing to try once…maybe not twice, and if you have touched their emotions in the right way they will feel at home and come back again. No 2nd chance…

  6. 6 waukingtall March 10, 2010 at 9:36 am

    Why not try targeting Hispanic communities that might better relate to Juan than to Starbucks. Generally, these are the area that might be under-served anyway. And don’t tell me that Latinos won’t pay a reasonable price for a good cup of coffee.


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