Will former exec’s Godiva café plans spell trouble for Starbucks?
Annie Young-Scrivner knows Starbucks. The former executive at the coffee giant held a variety of senior posts at the company, including executive vice president of global digital & loyalty development, president of Starbucks Canada, president of Teavana Holdings and global chief marketing officer during her tenure between 2009 and 2017.
It stands to reason that Ms. Young-Scrivner, who became CEO of Godiva Chocolatier in 2017, will use the knowledge she gained at Starbucks as her current company embarks on a major expansion of its café concept. The very first Godiva Cafés in the U.S. are now open — a permanent location on Lexington Avenue and a pop-up shop inside Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan. The company’s expansion plans call for opening around 2,000 new cafés over the next six years with one-third of those located in the U.S., reports The Associated Press.
Unlike its traditional stores, which sell boxed confections, chocolate-covered strawberries and ice cream, Godiva’s cafés include coffee, tea and prepared foods such as the croiffle, a mashup of a croissant and waffle stuffed with cheese, chocolate, egg or gouda.
Thierry Muret, Godiva’s executive chef chocolatier, said the croiffle is not the typical Belgium waffle served in the U.S.
“You need to taste it to see what makes it different,” he told AM New York. “I didn’t go the easy way. In the Liege waffle, you have real sugar inside. It’s a pearl of sugar … When you bake it the sugar melts and creates a coat of caramel in your waffle.”
The food at Godiva’s cafés, which also includes a menu of soup and salads, was created with Millennials and Gen Z in mind.
“We wanted to really customize the food for fast pace, fast life, no time, busy, busy, busy,” Mr. Muret said. “The brand is so young — even after 90 years — because we are listening to how people are living.”
Godiva, which is privately owned by Turkish Yildiz Holding AS, was valued at $1 billion in 2017, AP reports. The company is looking to generate roughly 40 percent of its total sales from cafés over the next five years.
- Godiva moves beyond chocolate to open 2,000 cafés – The Associated Press
- Godiva caters to NYC’s pace with first U.S. café in midtown – AM New York
- Annie Young-Scrivner Executive Profile – Bloomberg
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do Godiva Cafés have the potential to disrupt the foodservice market in areas where they are located in the U.S.? How critical will Annie Young-Scrivner’s experience at Starbucks be to Godiva’s expansion plans?