Looks like Good Earth Coffeehouse isn’t the only Canadian cafe chain looking to scoop up former Starbucks locations, as Artigiano (formerly Caffe Artigiano) has announced some acquisition plans of its own for Vancouver and beyond.
Hot on the heels of its rebrand, the locally owned and operated chain has revealed an enterprising expansion and franchising program is in the works. The plan sees shuttered Starbucks locations converted into Artigiano cafés.
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Artigiano already opened one of these new cafes in Mount Pleasant (111 Broadway at Manitoba), and the second is slated for Whistler’s North Village near the Olympic Plaza.
Two more Vancouver locations are currently in negotiation.
The brand is looking to support local artists and communities by featuring interior and exterior murals by local Vancouver artists and selling mural-themed merchandise in conjunction with Vancouver Mural Festival.
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“It was a welcome chance for Artigiano to refresh our brand as well as expand,” says Artigiano owner Dean Shillington.
“Not only does moving into these abandoned locations make good business sense, it strengthens local communities by keeping those spaces open and keeping people employed. In addition, it has allowed Artigiano the opportunity to collaborate on a larger scale with the Vancouver Mural Festival (VMF) in support of the local arts community, which, like the hospitality sector, has taken a terrible hit during the pandemic.”
Artigiano plans to announce new franchise locations across the Lower Mainland. The company currently operates 16 cafes in BC and three in Alberta.
In January, a spokesperson for Starbucks Canada confirmed to Dished that the company would be closing up to 300 stores across the nation by the end of March as part of its next phase of store transformation.
This news came about six months after the coffee giant revealed it would be shuttering up to 200 locations across Canada over the course of two years, information the company released to stakeholders in June 2020.