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    Ralph's to Install On-site Cafes

    LOS ANGELES -- Kroger-owned Ralph's Grocery Co. plans to enhance its existing coffee offerings with the introduction of on-site cafes.

    LOS ANGELES -- Kroger-owned Ralph's Grocery Co. plans to enhance its existing coffee offerings with the introduction of on-site cafes.

    The cafes are going in under an agreement with The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, a brewer and operator of specialty coffee and tea stores. The cafes boost an existing agreement, the Proudly Brew program, which began in 2005 and placed the chain's freshly roasted coffees, whole leaf teas, and hot chocolate in more than 320 Ralphs service deli locations. For the new program, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf will immediately replace Seattle's Best Coffee in 11 existing cafes. The initial agreement is for 24 in-store cafes with plans to double this number throughout the three-year contract.

    The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf-branded cafes will offer a full range of beverage items, available in limited flavors. Ralphs employees will operate the cafes, which will serve the full range of menu items, although some limited edition and promotional items will be available only at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf locations. Ralph's will continue to offer packaged coffee in the aisles of the grocer's coffee section.

    As part of the agreement, Ralphs will have the exclusive licensing rights for California supermarket chains.

    Ralph's is owned by The Kroger Co., Cincinnati, Ohio. Which operates (either directly or through its subsidiaries) more than 2,510 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 32 states under two dozen local banners including Kroger, Fred Meyer, Food 4 Less, King Soopers, Smith's and Smith's Marketplace, Fry's and Fry's Marketplace, Dillons, QFC and City Market.

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