Dormans breaks ground for global headquarters at Tatu City

Tatu City sponsor Stephen Jennings (Left) with Dormans chairman Jeremy Block (Right) during the signing and symbolic shovel presentation for ground breaking to the establishment of the 10 acre global headquarters at the site on April 22, 2015. The company has announced it has obtained all necessary approvals to begin building its headquarters. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

Dormans Coffee Group break ground for its global headquarters at Tatu City.

The corporate headquarters will be build at an estimated cost of Sh650 million.

The facility will be capable of handling more than 15,000 tonnes of coffee annually.

Dormans Coffee Group has broken ground on its new global headquarters at Tatu City.

The firm disclosed Wednesday that it has now obtained all necessary approvals to begin building on its 10-acre site.

The company's headquarters construction will cost an estimated Sh650 million and will include processing, packaging, warehousing and trading facilities capable of handling more than 15,000 tonnes of coffee annually.

“When the facility is fully built, close to 200 Dormans employees will work at Tatu Industrial Park,” Dormans Chairman Jeremy Block said Wednesday.

The construction plans are in tandem with the company's strategy to tap into the huge local and international demand for coffee which has fuelled competition in the market sending investors on an expansion drive.

“The decision to consolidate our operations and offices at Tatu Industrial Park demonstrates our commitment to the quality of our coffee and global growth. And the challenges of working in the CBD and central Nairobi have become greater over time as it has become more crowded. Out here we will avoid all that,” Block said during the ground breaking ceremony.

Early this year, Dormans Limited and the Israeli-owned enterprise café-restaurants and bakeries operator Artcaffé announced a long-term joint venture to secure their hold on the middle class.

The deal saw Artcaffé acquire and manage specific Dormans coffee houses that still continue trading as Dormans.

With a growing middle class and more shopping malls under construction in major towns across Kenya, competition in the restaurant industry is heating up.

Dormans started operations in Kenya under the C. Dormans brand in 1950.

It blends and exports local coffee to markets such as the US, Germany, China, Ireland and South Africa.

It is owned by ED&F Man, a London-based firm that trades in agricultural commodities specifically sugar, molasses and coffee.

The company’s customer base includes major users of coffee and prestigious gourmet roasters all around the world.