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Rituals mixes coffee with reading
Book lovers can now enjoy a good cup of coffee while reading at the National Library, Port-of-Spain. Rituals Coffee House held a ceremonial opening yesterday of its 48th outlet on the ground floor of the library, Abercromby Street, Port-of-Spain. Readers, librarians and other spectators were present at yesterday’s opening to get a taste of the creamy chillers, colourful smoothies and other delicacies. One of the librarians praised the idea and said there were many coffee drinkers on the premises. Wraps, bagels, sandwiches, spicy Jamaican patties, cakes, donuts and coffees will now be available to those on the premises. In an interview, Mario Sabga-Aboud, chairman of the Pizza Boys Group of Companies, said he planned to take Rituals Coffee House worldwide. Sabga-Aboud, the progenitor of the idea behind the coffee house, said he planned to open outlets in India and Canada.
Rituals is already in St Lucia, St Kitts, Jamaica, Barbados, Curacao and Suriname.
He added: “All over...hopefully we plan that if you are in any location in Trinidad and Tobago, it will take ten minutes to get to the coffee shop. That is my dream for the next few years. “For India, it came about when my franchisee for one of the islands, who is originally from India, asked us to have a Rituals in India, because they have over one billion people and they socialise a lot more there than before. “Coffee-drinking has become a way of life.
“It used to be tea shops (in India) and now it has become coffee shops.” Sabga-Aboud said the coffee outlet at the library was a great idea because coffee-drinking and reading a good book has become popular in the United States and Europe. He said: “Students, children and people from all ages come here to read books. Coffee-drinking relaxes you and with a book, it goes good together. “When I am in the United States the first thing I do is buy some coffee and read a book.” Nevertheless, Sabga-Aboud said the idea faced opposition at first. “Several years ago, when I wanted to open a coffee house, people told me Trinis don’t drink coffee. “If America has a Starbucks, why not? I hope it would make a difference here,” he said.
Sabga-Aboud said he contemplated a name for the business for three months until his wife, Vanessa, asked him what coffee-drinking meant to him. “I said it is like a ritual every morning and that’s where the name came about and is such a perfect name. “We had Pizza Boys and Donuts Boys but Coffee Boys didn’t sound good. You get up every morning and you have to have a coffee. “Rituals is a household name and we are proud it is part of the Caribbean. “It gives me goosebumps to go to an island and see people with a cup in their hand. We want to make it part of your daily ritual,” he said. Sabga-Aboud said a Rituals Sushi will be opened in St Kitts, seven to eight more Rituals Coffee House outlets this year and 20 next year.
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