Joe Lyons makes comeback

Lyons coffee houses are to make a comeback 30 years after they disappeared from the high street, to capitalise on the latest craze for coffee cafés.

The chain of coffee shops first appeared at the turn of the century and became an institution, with their waitresses earning the nickname “Nippies”.

Now brand owner Paulig is preparing to resurrect the coffee houses with a modern image. It has undertaken an extensive research and development project and is in talks with several food companies as to how it should proceed. One idea under discussion is to update the coffee shop name to “Joe Lyons”.

Paulig marketing controller Kevin Collins says: “Lyons has both provenance and exceptional credentials as a buyer, roaster and packer of coffee. We are in a unique position to close the loop between the in-home and out-of-home coffee experience.”

The first Lyons coffee houses were once regular features of the British high street, but popularity waned and they disappeared towards the end of the Sixties.

The coffee café market has seen exponential growth in the past few years. American giant Starbucks entered it in 1998, buying the Seattle Coffee Company, and McDonald’s bought the Aroma chain last March for &£20m. Since then, the major chains have expanded from their London bases to the rest of the UK.

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