FLUSHING — A representative of Flushing-based Coffee Beanery was among the Michigan companies drumming up export business in China as part of Gov. Rick Snyder’s trade mission there last week.
The nine businesses are part of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) trade mission, with stops in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai to talk about partnerships, distribution and buying. The MEDC trip ran the trip in tandem with Snyder’s trip that started Nov. 21 and ran through Nov. 26. The traveling executives are participating in some of Snyder’s events.
“To have a Genesee County business represented on the Chinese trade mission is exciting and very telling about the business climate we’re seeing locally,” said Tim Herman, CEO, Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce. “We have the talent and products right here to compete on a global scale. The Coffee Beanery continues to prove that.”
Since 1976, the Coffee Beanery has grown to include more than 100 locations throughout the United States and 20 locations internationally, including four franchises already in operation in Chengdu, China.
“During (the China) mission, we’re looking at the possibility of additional master franchisees in China, in Zhenjiang,” said Kurt Shaw, Coffee Beanery Vice President of Franchise Development. “Coffee is quickly becoming a growing part of the Chinese culture, and we’re glad to be a part of it.”
Shaw said a Chinese broker he met in June during a trip to China represented the Coffee Beanery on his behalf during this trip. Last weeks mission could be a final step in sealing some franchise deals by mid-December, he said.
Michigan business exported more than $4 billion in goods and materials to China in 2013, up 28 percent from 2012, making China Michigan’s third-largest export market, according to the MEDC.