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STRICTLY SEATTLE TO EXPORT NEW COFFEE CONCEPT TO JAPAN

 STRICTLY SEATTLE TO EXPORT NEW COFFEE CONCEPT TO JAPAN
 SEATTLE, April 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The sun rises in the east and Japan ranks second in the world for coffee consumption, but the Japanese remain in the dark about America' hottest trend -- blended espresso drinks. Japanese coffee consumers are in for a treat, for Tokyo's trendsetters are about to experience the rich, aromatic lattes and mochas that have kept Seattleites clutching their cups and asking for more.
 Strictly Seattle, a local company formed in 1990 with the goal of introducing Asian consumers to Pacific Northwest products, today announced the sale of the first espresso cart franchises in Japan. The carts are slated to open in Tokyo on June 20 at two branches of I World, an upscale Japanese retail chain owned by the legendary Japanese entrepreneur Yoshito "Jimmy" Igarashi.
 Strictly Seattle founders Ron DeMiglio and Andrew Caple have preliminary commitments for the sale of 30 franchises and project steady growth to more than 100 units in 1992. All franchise operations and products will bear the brand name "Espresso Americano."
 For $40,000 - $50,000 Japanese franchees will get a fully equipped cart, location, training, management system and all after-market materials to support their operation. Perhaps the most valuable feature of Strictly Seattle's franchise package is a guaranteed location in urban areas where real estate is scarce. In Japan this is a very modest investment for a complete franchise. Elaborate in-store units and kiosks are also available.
 DeMiglio, 33, is the company's president. Prior to establishing Strictly Seattle, DeMiglio spent several years marketing American products in Japan, where he made solid business contacts and gained invaluable insight into Japanese culture. Caple, 29, serves as chief executive officer.
 Caple forecasts a bright future for Strictly Seattle. "If espresso catches on in Japan like it has in this country," he said, "then franchise sales are limitless."
 DeMiglio added, "We considered Japan's high coffee consumption, and the Japanese zeal for importing American trends, and knew we had a sound business idea."
 San-Kei Planning Corp., Japanese franchise experts based in Yokohama, helped shape the marketing concept of bringing premium Italian coffee drinks to high-traffic urban areas, targeting upscale, on-the-go Japanese.
 Washington State Department of Trade & Economic Development's James Nunn, director of Japan operations, and Linda Solomon, program manager in Seattle, gave Strictly Seattle important insight into the Japanese consumer market and provided a number of key business contacts.
 Nunn commends Strictly Seattle's thorough approach to this venture. "We see a lot of people from the Northwest who want to do business in Japan, but not all of them are completely prepared. Strictly Seattle has done a good job of defining the market and assembling a complete franchise package," Nunn said.
 North America's largest dealer of premium Italian-made Faema espresso equipment, Seattle-based Burgess Enterprises will build all of the Strictly Seattle carts. Owner Bob Burgess was instrumental in securing Strictly Seattle's exclusive marketing rights for Faema products in Japan.
 Everett's Millstone Coffee Co. will provide both branded and private-label coffee for Strictly Seattle outlets in Japan.
 -0- 4/15/92 R
 /CONTACT: Ron DeMiglio or Andrew Caple of Strictly Seattle, 206-728-1754; or Marilyn Hawkins of The Rockey Company, 206-728-1100, for Strictly Seattle/ CO: Strictly Seattle ST: Washington IN: SU:


LM-SC -- SE015 -- 9385 04/16/92 14:32 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 16, 1992
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