SMI to grow US cafe chain in Myanmar

Singapore Myanmar Investco (SMI) has signed an international area development agreement to develop The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (CBTL) cafe chain in Myanmar.

Founded by Herbert Hyman in 1963, the chain is owned and run by International Coffee & Tea, which has its corporate headquarters in Los Angeles. It has more than 1000 self-owned and franchised stores in the US and 31 other countries.

SMI secured the franchise rights two years ago to run CBTL outlets within the new Yangon International Airport. Following encouraging results from the two airport cafes, the new deal folds the CBTL brand into the group’s growing F&B brand portfolio, which includes Crystal Jade and Ippudo.

Under the exclusive agreement, SMI is committed to expand CBTL across Myanmar, with the first outlet planned to open within the next month.

“Aligned with the growing consumer market in Myanmar, our local market knowledge and experience gives us confidence as we further entrench our F&B business presence in this frontier market,” says SMI president/CEO Mark Bedingham.

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