Sara Lee Sells U.S. Retail Coffee Brands to Segafredo Zanetti

New firm: Massimo Zanetti Beverage USA

HARRISON, N.Y. -- Massimo Zanetti, founder and owner of the Segafredo Zanetti Coffee Group, Bologna, Italy, has purchased the U.S. retail coffee brands from Chicago-based Sara Lee Corp. The purchase was concluded on Dec. 5, 2005.

The transaction includes all assets related to the brands Chock full o'Nuts, Hills Bros., MJB, Chase & Sanborn, corporate brands, and the coffee manufacturing facility in Suffolk, Va., and 103 coffee shops under the name Chock full o'Nuts.

The new company, Harrison, N.Y.-based Massimo Zanetti Beverage [image-nocss] USA, will be led by its CEO and President Donald McIntyre. "Under the new company, we now belong to a family with a reputable and long-standing tradition of coffee expertise, driven by the passion to bring only the best coffee from bean to brew."

The owner, Massimo Zanetti, comes from a family rooted in coffee for many years, he said. His father and grandfather traded in green coffee, while Massimo began the production and sale of roasted coffee 35 years ago. At that time, the company was selling about a ton of roasted coffee a year. Today, the Segafredo Zanetti Group sells 120,000 tons of coffee, with more than 2.5 million bags of green coffee processed per year.

Its operations include a coffee plantation and green coffee processing plant in Brazil, a coffee mill in Costa Rica, a green coffee export company in these two markets and a green coffee trading company in Switzerland. It runs nine roasting plants around the world and claims a worldwide distribution network of subsidiaries and authorized dealers in about 100 countries, production of professional espresso machines and bar equipment under the La San Marco name and a network of more than 600 international coffee shops (Segafredo Zanetti Espresso, Puccino's and Chock full o'Nuts). The company said it serves more than 70,000 customers in all continents and has an annual turnover of $800 million.

Currently, the Segafredo Zanetti Group has almost 3,000 employees. The addition of the U.S. organization will further strengthen the company's expertise in the cultivation, trading, roasting and distribution of coffee and continue its mission to bring coffee, espresso, coffee shops, quality and service to the world.