Zarraffa’s Coffee Turns 21
2018 has been a milestone year for Zarraffa’s Coffee, marking 21 years in the coffee retail business.
In addition to the opening of the 85th Zarraffa’s store and the 50th drive thru location, the Aussie-owned company undertook a mammoth move, relocating the national headquarters from Helensvale to a brand new, purpose-built location, spanning 5.4 hectares in Eagleby.
As part of the National Franchise Conference held in early November, the company celebrated its over two decades in business with an informal birthday bash, acknowledging the efforts and support from head office staff, suppliers and, most importantly, its franchisees.
From a single cafe in Southport on the Gold Coast, Zarraffa’s Coffee has evolved into an award-winning enterprise and now serves an ‘individually perfect cup of coffee’ at over 85 locations across Queensland, Western Australia and New South Wales.
Zarraffa’s Coffee Founder and Managing Director, Kenton Campbell, opened the first store in 1997 with the vision of becoming Australia and New Zealand’s number one provider of specialty coffee.
It’s been an incredible ride so far,” enthused Kenton. “When I was operating coffee carts back in the early ‘90’s in Seattle I couldn’t have dreamed I would be here today.
From opening the first store at Australia Fair Shopping Centre on the Gold Coast in 1997 to expanding into franchising in October 2001, it was the move into drive thrus in 2009 that elevated Zarraffa’s operation, providing customers with quality coffee and added convenience.
“Our drive thru model sets the standard in the market and we’re proud to offer options to our customers; giving them their time back in convenience, while not sacrificing on quality.”
The name Zarraffa’s (zar-raf-fas) comes from the Arabic word ‘Zarafa‘, meaning ‘Giraffe’, and was inspired by the Masai Giraffe that typically inhabits the savannahs of Kenya and Ethiopia, the origin of coffee.
During a visit to Africa in 2012, Kenton felt there was a lot to learn from the community-based conservation efforts he witnessed first-hand and believed that he could contribute something in return.
“I believe in the words of the Body Shop Founder Anita Roddick – it’s about ‘trade, not aid’,” he said. ”We’re taking a commodity from the community, so I’d like to give something back on several levels.”
Since then Kenton and Zarraffa’s have supplied funds to build a nursery in Meru, Kenya, including the money for seedlings and a new facility where the coffee is processed.
In addition, Kenton and his wife Rachel established the Zarraffa’s Foundation, which now supports a growing number of local and international charity and community efforts.
With expansion planned in key geographical areas of New South Wales, Western Australia and Victoria next year, Zarraffa’s Coffee hopes to introduce its unique blend of coffee to a whole new legion of coffee lovers.
“The business has changed my life as well as that of our partners – our franchisees – who have the means and tools to make their business dreams come true,” said Kenton.
Kenton said that ultimately it was down to the franchisees and their staff who work diligently on and in the business seven days a week, often up before dawn and late into the night.
“Many people say you can’t run a successful business without good staff and good product and this is absolutely true.”
“It is also thanks to the loyalty of our customers; the ones who keep the love and passion for Zarraffa’s going, that I am very appreciative of. Without them, we would still be just one store in one shopping centre.”