From Lund to the world? – The Story of Espresso House
Many people know about Lund as a city of innovation during the years in which the university has been a prominent feature in the town. Inventions such as the first respirator, the artificial kidney and Bluetooth all origins from Lund University. But Lund is not only a city of innovation. Luckily for students at LUSEM, Lund is also a city of entrepreneurialism. Companies such as Tetra Pak, Alfa Laval and Sony Mobile all have strong connections to the city as Tetra Pak was founded in Lund and Alfa Laval and Sony Mobile have major offices located in the city. But they are not the only ones. There is another company with strong connections to Lund which is not to be forgotten. Which one, you ask yourself?
A drink many students enjoy on a regular basis is coffee, and it would certainly not be a large surprise if Lund is the Swedish city in which most amount of coffee cups per capita is enjoyed every day. Which company would then be more suitable to have opened up in Lund than the largest coffee shop chain in the Nordic Region; Espresso House?
The first Espresso House store was actually opened in Lund in 1996, on Kyrkogatan, located close to the heart of Lund in which you can find the cathedral, AF-borgen and the main university building. In the beginning of 2005, there were 16 stores in total, but the expansion has since then been rapid. According to themselves, they are a coffee shop chain based on two traditions: the Italian coffee culture with good coffee, and the American café tradition with their atmosphere. Put them in the same coffee blender and you’ll get Espresso House, which has so far been a success story.
What I think is the foundation for the success story of Espresso House is the concept. Actually making their coffee stores look cozy and inviting make people go there for an experience, besides enjoying their coffee. The possibilities to maybe take a instagram picture or to focus while studying is something people might take into account when they select where to buy coffee. The two things listed above are according to me, at least, not too hard to accomplish at an Espresso House, and maybe it is because of that people are willing to pay 30 SEK for a cup of coffee, compared to paying for instance 10 SEK at a student café.
Today, Espresso House owns more than 400 coffee stores in the entire nordic region, which is roughly as many Espresso House stores as there is McDonald’s restaurants in the nordic countries. In 2015, the company was bought by JAB Holding Group, a German company with subsidiaries all around the world. As a result of their rapid growth and a new owner, will we see Espresso House coffeeshops in other countries, outside of the nordic region as well? Well, as quick as they have been growing, I would absolutely not be surprised if we would see Espresso House in countries where people in general have lots of money and could afford to pay a bit more for their coffee. However, their prices are not for the common people in less developed countries, and maybe western Europe, the United States, Australia and highly developed cities in Asia would be suitable for a possible expansion, even though there is competition between coffee stores in these countries. Until then, we can be lucky to enjoy their coffee here in the Nordics, if you feel like spending 30 SEK on a cup of coffee or around 45 SEK on a caffé latté. I buy my coffee for 4 SEK at Café Hilbert at the F-section at LTH for the moment. Maybe a bit more adapted to the wallet of students.