Saturday, January 22, 2005

Krispy Kreme grew too fast

I have always been of the belief that companies like Krispy Kreme have just lied to the public with a product only a select want. They will fall by the wayside like Manhattan Bagel (stole from stockholders, New World Holdings ( had a bad dream and stole). The following is an article worth reading. BEWARE!!!!!

Can Corporate fix-it firm fill the holes at Krispy Kreme

By Matt Krantz, USA TODAY
Krispy Kreme's (KKD) just-ousted management team might have known how to make a mean doughnut. But when it came to making money, it was a different story.
So the company turned to Kroll Zolfo Cooper, the giant corporate fix-it firm that has parachuted into some of the modern era's stickiest corporate messes. It has taken on mopping up high-profile corporate disasters ranging from Enron to Sunbeam and Polaroid.
But can this firm fix the woes at Krispy Kreme that previous management could not? Some might be more suspicious, since Kroll Zolfo Cooper is owned by a company in need of some crisis-management help of its own.

It's a division of Kroll, which is owned by Marsh & McLennan, the insurance broker whose CEO was ousted after the company was implicated in a bid-rigging investigation.
Despite the odds, turnaround experts say they'd bet on the success of Kroll Zolfo Cooper and its chairman, Stephen Cooper.

"He has a stellar track record," says Bill Brandt, CEO of Development Specialists, another leading fix-it firm. "I think he can do it."

But Brandt adds that the turnaround is likely more difficult than widely thought. After all, he says, if Krispy Kreme's woes were just about the doughnuts, it would have just hired an executive with food experience. "When you skip that and go to the restructuring guy, the problems run deeper than food," he says. "This tells me this is a more difficult situation than the Krispy Kreme people have been letting on."

Kroll Zolfo Cooper certainly knows what it's in for. Its tie with Kroll gives it access to former CIA and DEA agents who assist in fraud investigations and forensic accounting, says Lewis Freeman, principal of fraud detection and turnaround firm Lewis B. Freeman, which has hired Kroll.

Krispy Kreme is hoping Kroll Zolfo Cooper can add it to past successes, including:
•NRG Energy. When the Kroll Zolfo Cooper arrived at this struggling energy firm in August 2002, it was near financial death. But in 14 months, Kroll Zolfo Cooper retired $1.2 billion in debt and boosted annual cash flow 38%. The company has relisted on the New York Stock Exchange.
•Sunbeam. This maker of household products was headed into bankruptcy shortly after the reign of former CEO Al Dunlap. The lenders hired Kroll Zolfo Cooper in 2000. Cooper vetted the management team's plan and set up a computer to manage cash flow. Sunbeam emerged from bankruptcy protection, renamed itself American Household, and was bought last September by Jarden for $745 million.

"Steve is as good as what people say he is," says Jerry Levin, CEO of American Household. "I hope he's successful. I happen to like Krispy Kremes."

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Consumer Report-Coffee

Consumer Reports: There's a lot of coffees out there

In lieu of the brew itself, perhaps these facts about coffee will prove stimulating:

· Americans drink more coffee per capita than the people of any other nation.
· There are two main types of coffee beans: robusta and arabica. Robusta plants are hardier, while arabica beans can make higher-quality coffee.
· Caffeine can be removed from coffee via a solvent, liquefied carbon dioxide, or a hot-water process. Even so, decaffeinated coffee isn't necessarily free of the stuff: It generally has 5 mg or less caffeine per 6 ounces, vs. 50 to 90 mg for regular coffee.
· Coffees labeled as being "100 percent" beans of a type or region are supposed to consist only of those beans. Sometimes such a claim is certified, as by the Colombian Coffee Federation's Juan Valdez logo on 100 percent Colombian coffees.

We recently tested 33 Colombian coffees (caffeinated and decaffeinated), along with nine caffeinated Kona coffees produced from beans grown in the rich volcanic soil of Hawaii's rainy highlands. Among the 42 brews were national and store brands, as well as those sold in specialty shops and online.

In blind tests, our expert tasters looked for such desirable flavors as "floral" (like the scent of a mixed-flower arrangement) or "earthy" (think clean, moist soil), while noting negative attributes including "cereal" (a grainy flavor common to cheap beans), "burnt" (a taste redolent of charred beans) and "astringent" (it might make your mouth pucker).
We tested whole-bean and ground coffees, preparing them according to manufacturers' instructions. When those instructions allowed, we made adjustments to improve flavor.
Some of our findings:

· Whole beans usually bested ground. Three of our four best-tasting coffees are whole bean.

· Decaffeinated can be first-rate. Some decaffeinated versions of coffees outshine or nearly match their regular brandmate

· Kona coffees can be second-rate. They're especially expensive (two we tested cost $30 per pound) and billed as smooth and full-bodied, with a winy, spicy flavor. Yet eight of nine Konas we tested are woody, bitter, sour and astringent.

· Coffee-shop brands may not shine. Whole-bean coffees from Gloria Jean's, Seattle's Best and Starbucks scored no better than "good" in our ratings. Starbucks' ground was the lowest rated of 25 caffeinated Colombian coffees.

Overall, we found a far lower percentage of very good or excellent brews than when we last rated coffees in 2000, even though we tried many of the same brands. The winners, however, made for an interesting mix.

There are only two excellent products in our lineup was Caribou Colombian, a whole-bean caffeinated coffee sold in Caribou stores, by mail order or over the Internet for $11.25 a pound. (With mail-order coffees, you'll likely pay an extra $5 or more for ground shipping.) It is fragrant, with complex, well-balanced floral, fruity and earthy notes or various Willoughby’s coffees, which is a small roaster and have some of the finest coffees in The USA.

For the best combination of taste and price, we recommend Eight O'Clock 100 percent Colombian whole-bean -- both caffeinated ($5 per pound) and decaffeinated ($5.85) -- and Dunkin' Donuts Original Blend 100 percent Arabica ground caffeinated ($7.66, sold at the company's outlets). All three are CR Best Buys.

Our tests revealed that coffees with the same brand name may not be equally good. For example, the whole-bean version of Dunkin' Donuts Original Blend 100 percent Arabica and the ground version of Eight O'Clock Colombian scored lower in our ratings than their very good brandmates. And Eight O'Clock's Royale Kona Delight is so musty that it barely tastes like coffee.
Some so-so coffees can be salvaged with milk and sugar. If you don't take yours black, consider Berkley & Jensen 100 percent Colombian Batch Roasted ($1.80 per pound, at BJ's) and Kirkland Signature 100 percent Colombian Supremo Bean ($1.76, at Costco), two good ground caffeinated brews. For an inexpensive-but-good decaffeinated coffee, try Great Value 100 Colombian ground ($2.44 per pound, at Wal-Mart).

Dunkin Donuts vs Starbucks

This is a great article from AP

Dunkin' Donuts is changing, but Starbucks isn't target
Published in the Asbury Park Press 1/14/05 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

BOSTON -- With the addition of more espresso drinks to its menu, Dunkin' Donuts might look as if it's trying to be another Starbucks Corp.
Well, it's true that Dunkin' Donuts is experimenting with WiFi access in a few Chicago shops and considering music in more of its stores -- two features of Starbucks outlets. But although its espresso launch has boosted its competitive position against Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts says it is content to maintain its distance from the upscale Seattle coffee giant and stick to its workaday, on-the-go niche.
There's no broad campaign encouraging customers to linger awhile at Dunkin' Donuts' pink and orange-themed shops -- and there are no plans to switch from Dunkin Donuts' "small-medium-large" cup size hierarchy to something akin to Starbucks' oft-mocked sizes of tall, grande and venti.
"People say you're taking on Starbucks, but we're really not," CEO Jon Luther told The Associated Press in a recent interview. "All we want to do is share some space with the coffee consumer."
What the franchise chain is planning is to share that space by expanding westward -- only 70 of its stores are currently located west of the Mississippi River. The company, a subsidiary of the British wine and spirits firm Allied Domecq, has its heaviest concentration of locations in New England, where there are 1,700.
And it's changing its menu again, planning to add iced beverages to its year-old line of espresso drinks, and broadening its small line of sandwiches with a new sirloin steak, scrambled eggs and cheese on a bagel. The sandwich, to be offered through May at selected outlets, is an upscale version of the breakfast sandwich Dunkin' Donuts now offers with a choice of bacon, ham or sausage.
The move comes as both Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks put greater emphasis on sandwiches to draw more afternoon customers and respond to moves by fast-food giants such as McDonald's Corp. that now sell more premium coffees.
Dunkin' Donuts customers interviewed outside a downtown Boston shop across the street from a Starbucks said they welcomed some of Dunkin' Donuts' recent changes -- as long as the chain doesn't abandon the basics.
"It's quite a bit cheaper than Starbucks, and it's convenient, and they're fast," said Sandra Jadotte, a 30-year-old downtown officer worker and three-times-a-week consumer of Dunkin' Donuts' no-frills coffee.
Brian Lam, 25, said he chooses Starbucks when he wants a strong blend of top-notch coffee, but opts for Dunkin' Donuts when he craves French Vanilla flavoring.
"I'm here for the caffeine strictly," Lam said.
While Dunkin's doughnuts cemented the company's name and reputation, they made up less than 15 percent of the chain's total $3.6 billion in fiscal 2004 sales. Espresso beverages accounted for 10 percent, nearly twice what the chain expected when the high-end drinks were introduced early last year, Luther said.
Clearly, Starbucks and its huge sales of espresso are on the minds of Dunkin' Donuts executives. In a recent press release, Dunkin' Donuts said its new lattes and cappuccinos "helped the brand solidify its position as a viable competitor to premium coffee chains like Starbucks."
And next summer, Dunkin' Donuts will introduce the Turbo Ice: iced coffee with a shot of espresso.
Starbucks doesn't appear to be worried: "Starbucks believes there is room for many coffeehouses in the marketplace that can meet different customer needs," spokeswoman Valerie Hwang said.
And an industry analyst said it would be a stretch to suggest Dunkin' Donuts will pose a big challenge to Starbucks.
"Starbucks has spent more time working on the coffee shop experience, and when you compare that to Dunkin' Donuts, they don't even seem to be in the same game together," said Carl Sibilski of Morningstar Inc. "The real product Starbucks is offering is more than just the coffee in a cup. The real product is the environment, and Dunkin' Donuts is lacking that environment."
Sticking with formulaDunkin' Donuts' plan is to keep doing what it does now, but in more locations. Canton-based Dunkin' Donuts remains close to its Massachusetts roots, with the vast majority of its 4,400 domestic locations in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states.
The company is accelerating its expansion pace by adding about 500 shops a year, with an eventual goal of growing to 15,000 shops -- a huge total, but still dwarfed by the 30,000 locations Starbucks envisioned when it announced in October it was increasing its previous long-term growth target.
Starbucks, which had $5.29 billion in 2004 sales, has 8,700 shops worldwide compared with Dunkin' Donuts' 6,100.
"I think the biggest challenge for Dunkin' Donuts is geography," said Sharon Zackfia, an analyst with William Blair & Co. in Chicago. "They are strong in New England, but they really haven't been strong anywhere else."
Starbucks typically selects prime real estate for its shop locations, which could hinder Dunkin' Donuts to compete in new markets from its more typical second-tier properties, Zackfia said.
Not threat to Starbucks
"I think Dunkin' Donuts can grow very profitably, but I don't think they will do that necessarily at the expense of Starbucks," she said.
The chain expects much of its near-term growth in the upper Midwest, with eventual plans to reach the West Coast. The chain is now moving into Cleveland; Cincinnati; Charlotte, N.C.; and Tampa, Fla.
"We feel there is ample room for us to expand," CEO Luther said.
© copyright 2005 The Associated Press

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

The Story on Coffee

Coffee Genesis: Birth of the brew

The Legend begins

The history of coffee began many years ago on the tip of the Arabian Peninsula. Once upon a time, there lived a goat herder named Kaldi, and with him lived his happy flock. One night the flock did not return home as usual, and Kaldi was forced to search for them all night long. When at last he found them the next morning, the goats were dancing and jumping about a shrub like tree covered with red berries. Curious about the mysterious behavior of his flock, Kaldi himself tried the berries, and proceeded to dance and sing with his goats.

The first known coffee consumers were actually a group of monks. Having heard of Kaldi and his fantastic fruit, these monks began consuming the fruits for their incredible energizing properties. The monks would dry out the fruit to preserve it for their travels between monasteries, and then reconstitute them using water. Thus the first coffee beverages in history were prepared.

History and the Spread of Coffee

These first coffee discoveries were reportedly made in the mountains of Ethiopia. Some time in the 7th century coffee made its way from these Ethiopian slopes to the kingdom of Yemen, on the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. The Arabs consumed the coffee cherries as fruit, and also made a wine from the pulp of the ripe berries. From here, coffee was taken to Turkey where it was roasted for the first time.

Venetian trade merchants began exporting coffee to Europe in the early 17th century, and soon the Dutch had begun their own coffee production on the Indonesian Island of Java. When coffee from Java was combined with coffee exported from the well-traveled port of Mocha, in Yemen, the first blend was born: Mocha Java.

In 1715, Louis XIV received several coffee trees from the Dutch as repayment for a favor. In 1720 an infantry captain, Gabriel Matthieu de Clieu, transported a single tree from its greenhouse in France to Martinique with a mission to build coffee production. Fifty years later, 19 million coffee trees were growing in Martinique alone. From there the coffee tree spread throughout the Caribbean, South and Central America. The coffee craze had begun!

By 1763, there were over 200 coffee bars in Venice alone. There are tens of thousands of coffee bars in Italy today. Coffee, as a commodity, is second only to petroleum in terms of dollars traded. The coffee industry employs approximately 20 million people globally to produce what will become 400 billion cups consumed per year. In the United States, coffee is a billion-dollar industry. Today American customers can drink the highest quality coffees available from the coffee-producing world.

What is coffee and where does it come from?

· Coffee beans are the pits of cherries. They grow on evergreen shrubs known as coffee trees. They grow at altitudes from sea level to 7000 feet. The best generally grow over 3000 feet.

· Coffee trees grow in the narrow subtropical belt north and south of the Equator, between the Tropics of Capricorn and Cancer. This belt encompasses all of Central America and major portions of Africa, South America and Indonesia as well as numerous smaller land masses.

· We refer to individual coffees as unblended coffees, and combinations of these as blends.

· An individual coffee’s flavor depends on a tropical micro-climate which includes soil conditions, weather, altitude, and other environmental factors. Other conditions such as variety planted, the farmer’s care in cultivating the crop, method of processing, and numerous other factors contribute greatly to the coffee’s final quality.

· The annual growing cycle begins with flowering followed by cherry growth and ripening. The flowers resemble Jasmine in shape and odor and last but a few days. The overall cycle spans approximately nine months.

· Coffee cherries ripen at different rates. Pickers must revisit the same trees over and over picking the fruits by hand as they ripen!

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Some Great Links

Greatest Coffee Roasters

Bakery Information

Great Graphic designer

Capico International Logo
visit our web site

List of clients we have worked with:

La Petite Boulangerie
Vie DeFrance
My Favorite Muffin
Starwood (Middle East, Africa, India)
Le Maison du Cafe
Najaar Cafe
House Of Coffee
New World Coffee
Au Bon Pain
il Forniao
Dunkin Donuts (Middle East)
La Croissant Shop
Cookies Nest (Israel)
Cookie Connexion (Paris)
Tribeca (Turkey)
Tribeca (Lebanon)
Tribeca (Tokyo)
Manhattan Bagel
Zanadoo & Co
Bow Wow Botanicals NEW!!