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Costa Coffee

British multinational coffeehouse company

Costa Coffee is a British multinational coffeehouse company headquartered in DunstableBedfordshire, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Whitbread - Coca Cola acquisition pending. It is the second largest coffeehouse chain in the world behind Starbucks and the largest in Britain.[2]

Costa Coffee
TypeFranchise owned by Whitbread - Coca Cola acquisition pending.
When it was created1971
HeadquartersDunstable, Bedfordshire, UK
Area servedUnited Kingdom,South Asia, China, Middle East, Central and Eastern Europe
Key peopleSergio and Bruno Costa (Founders)
Things madecoffee, small snacks and soft drinks
ParentWhitbread - Coca Cola acquisition pending

Costa Coffee was founded in London in 1971 by the Costa family as a wholesale operation supplying roasted coffee to caterers and specialist Italian coffee shops. Acquired by Whitbread in 1995 for £19M, it has since grown to over 3,277 stores across 31 countries. The business has 2,121 UK restaurants, over 6,000 Costa Express vending facilities and a further 1,280 outlets overseas (including 395 in China).[1][3]


Italian Immigrant brothers Bruno and Sergio Costa founded a coffee roastery in Lambeth, London, in 1971, supplying local caterers. The family had moved to England in the 1960s.[4][5] Costa branched out to selling coffee in 1978, when its first store opened in Vauxhall Bridge Road, London.

In 1985, Sergio bought out Bruno's share of the company. Bruno went on to found a tableware company.[6] By 1995, the chain had 41 stores in UK.[7] In 1995, the business was acquired by Whitbread for £19M, UK's largest hotel and coffee shop operator, becoming a wholly owned subsidiary. In 2009, Costa opened its 1,000th store - in Cardiff. In December 2009, Costa Coffee agreed to acquire Coffee Heaven for £36 million, adding 79 stores in central and eastern Europe.[8] 31st August 2018. Coca Cola offer to pay £3.9 billion for Costa Coffee from Whitbread, the acquisition is expected to go through over the next few months.

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