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Rock-themed coffeehouse looking for local partners

Rock-themed coffeehouse looking for local partners

Classic Rock Coffee, a US-based coffeehouse concept chain, is looking to enter the Cambodian market and has commissioned a local law representative to assist it in finding local franchise partners.

Lay Vicheka, head of commercial and international law at Huot & Associates Law Group, said the American coffeehouse brand was seeking local partners to operate individual franchise outlets or be its master franchiser for the Kingdom.

“We will start to look for partners in Phnom Penh, and then after we are planning to do the same for Siem Reap and Sihanoukville,” he said yesterday. “We are currently in the process of negotiating with several interested parties.”

Classic Rock Coffee, which describes itself as “java with attitude”, distinguishes itself from other coffeehouse chains by its continually played classic rock music and themed decor. According to its website, the brand currently has four stores in the US with another 10 in the process of opening.

It also has franchises operating in Qatar, Nigeria, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, and is set to open its first store in Jordan.

Potential franchisees must hold a minimum of $50,000 in cash or liquid assets and have an overall financial net worth of $400,000 in order to be eligible, according to the website.

As this is Classic Rock Coffee’s first expansion effort in Southeast Asia, Vicheka noted that it was harder to convince potential investors of the brand’s value compared to the franchises of more-established coffee chains.

“It is a challenge to sell the franchise because it is expensive,” he said. “If you want to sell a Starbucks franchise, that is easy because you can easily show the current profits.”

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