From bean to roast and brew, Pittsburgh-based  Rock ‘n’ Joe Coffee Bar provides superior coffee and artisan drinks in relaxed, hip environment

(PITTSBURGH, PA) March 14, 2016 — Ablak Holdings, a multi-brand franchisor with over 25 years of experience specializing in the acquisition, operation and growth of franchise businesses, today officially announced its effort to expand the Rock ‘n’ Joe Coffee Bar franchises nationally. The “third-wave” coffee bar, marked by superior coffee in a relaxed, hip environment, has 23 years of proven success and was acquired by Ablak Holdings in late 2013.

As Ablak prepares to showcase this opportunity to entrepreneurs and baristas, its expansion is already underway. Rock ‘n’ Joe has 5 stores opened in New Jersey and 10 franchise stores in development in Pennsylvania and Virginia, with the first newly designed store opened in the Pittsburgh market located on Penn Avenue in Downtown Pittsburgh.

“People’s desire for that perfect cup of coffee, shot of espresso, or specialty drink isn’t slowing down. What’s been missing is the third-wave coffee-making experience, where baristas showcase the art form of artisan beverage making,” said Varol Ablak, president and CEO of Ablak Holdings. “Rock ‘n’ Joe’s provides entrepreneurship opportunities for baristas who want to do what they love, work with one of the best roasters in the world, and achieve the financial success that is the hallmark of all of our franchisees.”

After acquiring the franchise, Ablak Holdings created a cutting-edge store design with artisan and industrial elements inviting to “social energy.” Franchisees are encouraged to work with the Rock ‘n’ Joe support team to create local flavor for their stores. With training in operations, marketing and iPad-based POS technology, franchisees will receive the support needed to help them be successful. A key to that success is the partnership with a “Best Roaster in North America,” Dilanos Roaster.

From bean to roast and brew, Rock ‘n’ Joe Coffee Bar offers signature blends of coffee with smooth taste, providing an alternative to specialty chains known for the powerful, burnt taste of their brews. This quality has earned Rock ‘n’ Joe accolades from customers and recognition from industry experts including Specialty Coffee Association of America “Golden Cup” Award, and New Jersey Monthly Magazine “Best Coffeehouses North.” The roaster, Dillanos, has received accolades including “Best Roaster in North America,” Roast Magazine.

Rock ‘n’ Joe’s award-winning, Seattle-based roaster sources coffees from East Africa, Central and South America, and the South Pacific. Dillanos has established strong relationships with partners at origin to ensure the consistency of its supply chain. The “cupping” team spends countless hours verifying quality and profile to ensure that each cup meets a rigorous standard. A “marriage” of age-old roasting techniques combines with modern drum roasters to fully develop each bean.

“Before we purchased the franchise, our first step was to visit Dillanos and get a feel for their understanding of plant varietals, and coffee harvesting and processing,” said Jim Powers, Ablak Holdings’ Executive Vice President. “The passion and painstaking perfection this roaster commits to ensuring every bean has reached its full potential was critical to our decision. On top of that, their commitment to ‘ethical sourcing’ was important to us. Much like we know our franchisees and work with them through every critical step to ensure success, they know and support their farmers. To say we were impressed is an understatement.”

At Rock ‘n’ Joe Coffee Bar, skilled baristas utilize top-of-the-line barista equipment such as the Nouva Simonelli Black Eagle precision espresso machine used at all regionals and the United States Barista Championship in 2015. This machine combines the beauty of well-finished lines with thermal stability and “gravimetric” technologies for consistently excellent espresso. Presenting customers’ specialty drinks without the lid, baristas showcase espresso art – be it leaves or hearts – in every pour.

“Much like the art form of the music playing in the backdrop of each Rock ‘n’ Joe Coffee Bar, the craft of beverage making is an art form performed by every barista,” said Powers.

Rock ‘n’ Joe is poised for national expansion and will award franchises and development territories to qualified franchise candidates.

About Rock ‘n’ Joe
Are you ready to Rock! Rock ‘n’ Joe Coffee Bar is all about creative excellence. It is a cool place for people who love exceptional coffee, premium food and quality rock ‘n’ roll music in a trendy, relaxing environment. Taste the award-winning and proprietary coffee masterfully blended by one of North America’s premier coffee roasters. Savor the chef-select tastes of our pastries and food while enjoying rock ‘n’ roll music.

For entrepreneurs with a passion for great proprietary coffee blends, food, specialty drinks and rock ‘n’ roll music… Rock ‘n’ Joe Coffee Bar is more than the hippest hangout in town; it’s an opportunity for a whole new lifestyle.

About Ablak Holdings
Ablak Holdings is a Pittsburgh-based holding company founded by entrepreneur Varol Ablak after decades of experience in starting, growing and acquiring franchise businesses. After venturing out as a franchisee himself in the 1980s, Ablak became a franchisor in 1993 and since has helped grow the restaurant brands to more than 120 stores, with 14 in development, located in seven states and two countries. With experienced marketing, logistical and operational staff in-house, Ablak Holdings has five brands, streamlining all aspects of franchise management.

In August 2013, Ablak Holdings announced the acquisition of its second franchise brand, Rock ‘n’ Joe Coffee. Today, Ablak Holdings continues to acquire or develop businesses to franchise including: Sincerely Yogurt®, a quality self-serve frozen yogurt; V3 Flatbread Pizza, a fast-casual pizza restaurant; and Zing Basket, a delivery service of groceries, organics and more.

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