Sodexo has joined forces with speciality coffee group Taylor St Baristas to roll out coffee shop concessions to its clients, initially in London but eventually to up to 400 sites worldwide.

The partnership will see Sodexo offer its clients a choice of two premium quality coffee offers: an exclusive Taylor St licensed offer, with an extended menu of premium quality coffees; and Chapter & Verse, a new specialty coffee brand, co-developed by Sodexo and Taylor St.

Both offers will have speciality-grade coffee beans which pay farmers typically 20-50% above those paid by Fair Trade, with Taylor St to also provide an accompanying food menu to match the coffee offer.

Baristas will undergo a 40-hour training programme through Taylor St Baristas’ training academy, which will continue on the job.

Meanwhile Taylor St is understood to be eyeing European and US expansion of its core brand as it closes an equity round.

Taylor St founders the Tolley siblings launched Harris + Hoole with Tesco in 2012, taking it to c46 sites, before leaving in 2015. The brand was bought by Caffe Nero in 2016.

Tolley told Coffee Business World: “We’re looking up and down the East Coast of the US and at the Benelux region as our core area of focus. We’re keeping our plans fairly fluid at the moment, as much will depend on where we activate sites with Chapter & Verse.”

Nicola Morris, divisional managing director and head of food, Corporate Services, Sodexo UK & Ireland says: “Research amongst consumers identified quality coffee as more important than location, service or atmosphere when looking at coffee shops. With over a third of people leaving the office to purchase coffee it was imperative that we looked for a coffee which met the needs of our consumers and sets us apart from other food service providers.

“We looked beyond the coffee bean to address this need which is why this partnership with Taylor St is unique. We now offer an authentic expertly-crafted coffee of the highest quality with the provenance and traceability we insist upon, served by passionate baristas. London is the perfect market to launch our partnership and we look forward to seeing it expand in other urban markets such as New York, Dublin and Paris.”