PJ's Coffee of New Orleans, a Raving Brands Portfolio Company, Enters Agreement to Be Sold

Largest PJ's Franchisee Expected to Assume Growth and Regional Expansion of 30-Year-Old Coffee Roaster and Specialty Retailer Pioneer

ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Raving Brands announces today that PJ's USA, Inc. and PJ's Wholesale, Inc. entered into an agreement with New Orleans Roast, L.L.C. and New Orleans Brew, L.L.C. for the purchase of the assets of the PJ's Coffee of New Orleans franchise system and coffee roasting business. The deal is expected to close this spring and is subject to due diligence and certain closing conditions.

New Orleans Roast and New Orleans Brew are affiliates of the New Orleans-based Ballard family, who, in partnership with lifelong friends and local business owners born and raised in south Louisiana, intend to bring PJ's back to its place of origin. Franchisees since 1995, New Orleans Roast and New Orleans Brew currently own and operate five PJ's Coffee of New Orleans locations, and intend to develop and manage additional stores in the future.

"Like Phyllis Jordan, who founded this great coffee company in 1978, our family has been vested in and passionate about PJ's throughout the course of the company's 30-year history," explains Paul Ballard, partner, New Orleans Roast and New Orleans Brew. "Raving Brands has placed us in a very strong position to grow PJ's Coffee of New Orleans in the Southeast as the premier coffee company with a proud heritage, a distinct coffee palate, a roasting facility in the heart of New Orleans, and a base of customers as loyal as any brand can have."

Phyllis Jordan founded PJ's years prior to the specialty coffee movement. Today, there are 48 PJ's Coffee of New Orleans locations, largely in the Southeast.

"We have made sure that the PJ's brand has found a home with family and friends who were raised in south Louisiana, who already love the concept and all that is distinct about it," explains Stephen M. LaMastra, president and chief operating officer of Raving Brands. Upon closing, says LaMastra, "the PJ's franchise system will be in great hands with the direction of these local owners, who have been heavily involved in the success of PJ's for many years, and who are committed to the integrity of this great brand."

LaMastra adds that "as we have stated since early last year, Raving Brands is committed to a portfolio strategy with its concepts, but must be willing to look further for partnership or even sale to highly qualified partners who are eager to take a certain concept to the next level."

New Orleans Roast and New Orleans Brew are looking forward to the opportunity to bring PJ's Coffee back to New Orleans, and to continue building momentum, support and growth opportunities for PJ's Coffee franchisees. Their growth model will focus on Louisiana and the greater Gulf Region, and increased wholesale distribution from PJ's Coffee's own roasting facility.

"In 2002, PJ's Coffee became the first established concept that Raving Brands added to its portfolio, and it has evolved into a real leader in the specialty coffee industry. PJ's has withstood competitive challenges and the impact of Hurricane Katrina, and much like the city of New Orleans, PJ's has remained a compelling brand and a special place for its consumers," adds Randy Hollingsworth, vice president and brand leader, PJ's Coffee of New Orleans. Hollingsworth says further that "from the coffee, to the retail experience, to the belief that it will be the quintessential coffee destination in the Southeast, PJ's will remain true to its roots."

About PJ's Coffee of New Orleans

PJ's Coffee of New Orleans was founded by Phyllis Jordan in 1978 and is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year as the Gulf Coast region's premier specialty coffee chain. Starting as a coffee bean boutique in the New Orleans' University district, PJ's Coffee of New Orleans sets the standard for selecting, roasting and brewing coffee and is consistently voted New Orleans' favorite coffeehouse. PJ's coffee can be purchased in-store, online at www.pjscoffee.com or by phone at (800) PHYLLIS. For information on franchising opportunities, call (877) 534-7216.

About New Orleans Roast and New Orleans Brew

New Orleans Roast and New Orleans Brew were established through a partnership between the Ballard family and lifelong friends. Franchising since 1995, New Orleans Brew has five PJ's Coffee of New Orleans locations, with more in development. New Orleans Roast and New Orleans Brew are affiliates of WOW Café which franchises the WOW Café concept. Currently, WOW Café has 53 locations, three of which are owned by the Ballards and their partners.

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