Erika Engle

Worldwide coffee and
tea retailer is coming
to Hawaii soon

THE international Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf chain of coffee shops has reached an agreement with Foodland Super Market Ltd. to bring its first store to Hawaii, TheBuzz has learned.

Neither Foodland nor the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf would release details yesterday, pending an announcement expected soon.

The first Hawaii location is slated to begin construction next month in an as yet undisclosed location.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf offers franchises for international territories, such as a country or a region, as opposed to individual stores. The company Web site indicates it is not entertaining any U.S. franchise opportunities, so the nature of its agreement with Foodland is unclear.

The chain will be taking on industry giant Starbucks Corp., which has 48 franchised locations in Hawaii and 9,000 worldwide.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is a registered trademark of Los Angeles-based International Coffee & Tea LLC, which purchased it in 1998. It is a specialty coffee and tea retailer with 152 locations in Arizona, California and Nevada and 150 international locations in Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Israel, United Arab Emirates, Brunei, Indonesia, Australia, China, Philippines and Kuwait.

Founded in 1963 by Herbert Hyman, it is still a privately owned, family-run company, according to its Web site.

Radio station needs U-haul

A neighbor island radio station may be making what is a highly unusual move to Oahu.

Lahaina, Maui, radio station KLHI-FM 101.1 may be moving to Oahu's Waianae Coast, now that the Federal Communications Commission has approved a reallotment of the radio station's license from one island to the other.

"Basically we saw an opportunity to take an asset and do something with it that we thought would present more value, so we filed with the FCC for the allotment ... years ago," said Chuck Bergson, Pacific Radio Group Inc. president and chief executive officer.

In the approval, released Friday, the commission notes that Maui-based Pacific Radio "plans to use a 150 meter tower at its proposed transmitter site to overcome any obstructions in the direction of Waianae and enable its proposed station to encompass Waianae with at least the required (broadcast coverage)."

Doing the math, 150 meters is 495 feet. In comparison, Honolulu's tallest building, First Hawaiian Center, is 430 feet tall.

The plan, as well as the height of the proposed tower, may change, Bergson said. "We're weighing our options."

He described the reallotment as a preliminary step with many more steps to go, including further filings with the FCC and state land use officials, for instance.

Most of the top of the Waianae Range has been declared a critical habitat area, according to Waianae Neighborhood Board Chairwoman Cynthia Rezentes. "We've become fairly protective of our mountain range," she said.

"Part of what we've been doing with the community are watershed management plans with the Board of Water Supply ... there are partnerships with the (Hawaii) Nature Conservancy."

Cultural sites in the mountains are also a concern, she said.

"If they're planning on going ahead with this, I would encourage them to approach the community very early," said Rezentes.

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: eengle@starbulletin.com

E-mail to Business Desk


© Honolulu Star-Bulletin -- https://archives.starbulletin.com