There has been a surprising follow-up to our recent report concerning the failure of Gaggia UK, the distributor of espresso machines which was placed in administration in August.
The failure of the company followed the acquisition of Gaggia in Europe by the Dutch company Philips, and British catering users were left wondering whether their machines could still be repaired or serviced.
The unexpected re-appearance of the Gaggia name at a forthcoming trade show raised questions within the beverage trade, which have in turn now produced a statement from the exhibiting company concerned, Rich Coffee of Berkshire:
"Gaggia (UK) Ltd imported both domestic and commercial Gaggia machines from Italy. Approximately 90% of its business was in importing and distributing domestic coffee machines … however, while sales of domestic machines have plummeted, Gaggia commercial machines continue to be highly sought after, and sales of these flourish.
"From 1st September 2009, the new UK importer for Gaggia commercial machines is Watermark Coffee Technology of Dublin. Rich Coffee has been the largest Gaggia commercial machine distributors in the UK since 2006, and we are working with Watermark to ensure that Gaggia's commercial customers do not suffer in the changeover of business and to ensure that their excellent standards of servicing and maintenance are not interrupted."
Gaggia users in the catering trade are invited to put any queries to Richard Millar at 0118 979 6222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meanwhile, in a quite unexpected twist, Gaggia UK's half-dozen retail outlets have been bought back from the administrator by Gaggia's former managing director, Raj Beadle.
"The decision by Philips UK, who acquired Saeco, the owners of Gaggia, to provide their own services left Gaggia UK without any viable way of continuing the distribution, helpline and after-sales services and therefore a decision was made to put the company into administration," he told us.
"I have however been able to set up a new company called Caffe Shop Limited to purchase some of the assets from the administrator so that we could continue the four outlet shops, two high street shops and two department store concessions. I feel that retailing of coffee machines, coffee and accessories within a specialized shop/area is the way forward and am looking forward to developing this business further. The shops will continue to sell Gaggia, Caffitaly and other coffee brands."