Page last updated at 14:50 GMT, Friday, 9 April 2010 15:50 UK

Cadbury plans chocolate-themed cafe chain

1930 cafe waitresses at Lyons
Past glories: Cadbury is set to follow a proud British tradition of cafe service

Chocolate maker Cadbury is planning to open a national chain of branded cafes.

The cafes - reportedly to be branded Cadbury Cocoa House - are expected to offer afternoon tea, along with a range of Cadbury-themed goods.

One novelty on offer could be chocolate building demonstrations of giant versions of well-known bars such as Curly Wurly and Flake.

Cadbury says it has been planning the move for some time - well before its recent takeover by US firm Kraft.

Negotiations are already underway for sites and the first outlets - in London - could be open for business before the end of the year.

However, Cadbury stressed that it was "very early days" for the plans.

Cadbury would not run the venture - called Cadbury Cocoa House - itself, instead it will be run under licence by a separate team, led by former Harrods director, David Morris.

Traditional English

Mr Morris told Property Week magazine: "We want to build on the Cadbury heritage and the British heritage of Cadbury.

"All food will be sourced from the UK where possible, and we will really develop that heritage of the brand - from fireplaces and fireside chairs to traditional English afternoon teas."

"Affordable" afternoon tea is promised - currently something of an expensive luxury at up-market hotels.

Mr Morris said Cadbury Cocoa House planned to sell it for less than half the prices charged by hotels, at £14.50.

Hannah Prevett, section editor at Management Today, said: "Cadbury has come full circle - after all, it started out selling comforting hot drinks.

"It is no surprise the company has chosen to do this. Mid-priced coffee chains have been star performers throughout the downturn - on top of that this means Cadbury is selling the product direct - cutting out the middle-man."

Cadbury aims to have an edge over successful rivals such as Starbucks and Pret a Manger. It intends to sell alcohol alongside its more traditional beverages.

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