A.L. Van Houtte enters the coffee services market with acquisitions of Selena Coffee and VKI Technologies, a manufacturer of single-cup coffeemakers using an exclusive technology. The VKI purchase is all the more strategic as it owns the American coffee service network Filterfresh. This paves the way for A.L. Van Houtte into the US and allows it to offer its Total Coffee Solutions to customers across the continent.
With the additional purchase of Red Carpet Food Services and Gold Cup Coffee Company, A.L. Van Houtte becomes the largest roaster and coffee services provider in Canada. It quickly moves to acquire other Canadian and US coffee services companies.
On the retail front, it introduces innovative merchandising displays and becomes the only company to enjoy direct-to-store delivery status. The company rounds out the decade by acquiring Gérard Van Houtte boutiques, thus reuniting all Van Houtte family entities under the company Van Houtte Inc.
Van Houtte acquires a 23.7% stake in American single-cup coffeemaker specialist Keurig and launches a full line of K-Cup products, including teas through an alliance with Bigelow Teas. In 2006, Van Houtte sells its stake in Keurig, but remains a key distributor.
By 2007, the company is the #1 brand of premium coffee in Canada and the #1 coffee services provider in North America. Looking for a way to grow further, and true to its tradition of challenging the status quo, Van Houtte sells all outstanding shares to private equity firm Littlejohn & Co. and becomes a private company.
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