Redefining daily luxury
We believe that true luxury is time well spent, while enjoying the most memorable experiences, daily. Which is why our trademark culinary couture approach is designed to take you on an extraordinary journey, at every moment of your day. A journey that starts with an elevated coffee experience – served on a bespoke wooden board, with a welcoming shot of sparkling water and our legendary lemon poppy madeleine. Everyday luxury, we believe, is having the pleasure and privilege to have access to the best, from everyday basics to special treats. That is what drives us to make every dish and beverage with the greatest care, and a healthy dash of Coco Safar culinary flair. Most importantly, it’s about making you feel good every step of the way. Which is why our understated retro-chic, vintage French interiors offer you relaxing comfort while catering to your every desire, from breakfast to brunch, lunch to dinner, high tea and every indulgence in between. Join us for a Coco Safar journey beyond the ordinary.
Founded by Wilhelm “Wil” Liebenberg, a South African born Canadian, and Caroline Sirois a French-Canadian – the original idea of a “luxury café like no other”, was inspired and conceived on their many travels around the world, with their first coffee-café venture launched to a highly discerning audience in Montreal, Canada, in 2006. As true entrepreneurs with diverse life experience across the exciting worlds of media, entertainment, café-restaurant, and property development businesses – Coco Safar was destined to be a unique experience that transports one on a luxurious global journey of discovery.
Our founders, Wil and Caroline envision a uniquely cosmopolitan-style bakery-café where coffee and bakery products will be equally great and of superior quality, with a true value-for-money proposition. The logo comes to life and the butterfly insignia is born.
The first R&D phase begins with the opening of two pop-up pilot stores in Montreal, including an eclectic micro-retail environment. A white and blue interior design is tested with retail within the café environment. The pistachio croissant and other baked goods receive their first rave reviews. The spiced maple-Rooibos is created and thoroughly enjoyed by consumers who know little about this healthy, herbal red tea from the tip of Africa, called rooibos.
The brand plans its entry and rollout into Manhattan, finding its first location in the West Village and comes up with a new interior design with the support of leading Brazilian architect and strategic partners. The market crashes in September….and all plans are put on hold.
Our founders move to Toronto Canada and a new phase begins in the English-speaking market with the opening of two new pilot pop-up stores in the Entertainment District. The signature latte takes off along with new experiences including a full breakfast all within a luxury café setting with espresso bar and bakery. Bloggers and media begin to take notice of the brand with rave reviews.
The sun shines again on New York. The brand becomes the exclusive coffee café offering at the Core Club, a private, Midtown club catering to influential executives and replaces Starbucks as the coffee provider. The brand begins to explore the global licensing model and commences with creating a truly international brand and refining the luxury coffee-café experience.
Many Nespresso patents expire, forever changing the single-serve format for coffee. The founders put all street-level store opening plans and deals on hold to enter a new phase of R&D in Cape Town. The brand meets the first company in the world to manufacture Nespresso compatible capsules to explore developing capsule product ranges for the Coco Safar brand.
Cape Town is voted by the New York Times as the #1 destination in the world to visit and the “Mother City’s” profile rises worldwide as an emerging style and foodie capital. Coco Safar starts R&D to develop its own ranges of single serve coffee capsules, rooibos tea capsules and packaging.
Coco Safar sets up its first Central Production Kitchen in Woodstock and launches it’s first flagship store under license in Cavendish Mall with all shopfitting and custom-designed elements produced by highly skilled local craftsmen. The store includes and Espresso Bar, Capsule Emporium, Pâtisserie, Retail Boutique and sit-down Café.
Coco Safar develops and launches a full 7000 square foot flagship store in cosmopolitan Sea Point, Cape Town, including all-day Café & Bakery, Espresso Bar, Pâtisserie, Capsule Emporium and Retail Boutique. The brand expands further with a Chocolate Atelier and launches a range of artisanal rooibos, coffee, and botanical beverages, all brewed in-house.
Our full flagship store in Sea Point, Cape Town further evolves to become the Innovation Hub for the brand worldwide. Rapidly developing and perfecting full ranges of baked goods, confectionery, chocolates, beverages, and gelato range, to enter retail and e-commerce channels worldwide. In 2020, amidst heavy lockdowns, Food & Wine US rated Coco Safar’s croissants alongside the world top 3 croissant makers, putting the brand amongst the world’s very best. The brand experiences meteoric growth locally hitting new PR, social media and media benchmarks with 20 000 Instagram followers and rave reviews across local and international media including Google Reviews 4,5 star rating, Trip Advisor, eNCA and Forbes
2021 & BEYOND
Coco Safar commences with global expansion into multiple regions, countries, and cities around the world, due to overwhelming demand for the brand in global markets. New store openings are planned and under way for the UAE region, Qatar, and Joburg. With plans for New York in the advanced stage.
Coco Safar was created by Wilhelm Liebenberg and Caroline Sirois in Montreal, Canada in 2005, as a result of travelling the world and spending much time in cafés from Paris, Istanbul, New York to Mexico City, Athens and Dubai. In fact, they first met in a café in Munich, which is fitting given their vision was to create the “best luxury café like no other” where one could enjoy the best coffee along with the best croissant in a luxurious setting reminiscent of old-world coffee houses. Fast forward some 15 years, and that vision is now a reality. Bloomberg, Forbes, and L’Officiel Paris have rated Coco Safar as the ‘World’s best coffee” and “ World’s best café” with Food & Wine US rating Coco Safar alongside the world’s best 3 croissant makers in 2020.
Their vision and relentless pursuit of the extraordinary has propelled Coco Safar to become the world’s leading luxury coffee-café-bakery brand, recognised today by the world’s leading media as the clear thought leader and leading innovator in the specialty coffee, café, and bakery sectors, while industry insiders refer to the brand as the “Hermes” of the industry.