A well-known independent coffee shop brand in Tampa Bay is getting a warm-up.
An investment group headed by Tampa native James Ramos bought Indigo Trading Company, a local chain with a distinctive crescent moon and stars logo.
Indigo had as many as six sites throughout Tampa, including downtown and in Hyde Park Village, but currently only has two locations — one in St. Joseph’s Hospital on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and another at St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital across the street.
Financial terms were not disclosed. Profecta Ventures Ltd., a private equity and venture capital group based in the United Arab Emirates, is working with Ramos, and Jeff Darrey, who was president of Indigo, will be an advisor to the company.
Indigo has “unbelievably strong brand recognition in Tampa Bay,” said Ramos.
Indigo was named “Favorite Coffee Spot” in Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Best in Biz: Readers’ Choice awards in 2013.
“We’re going to keep all the great qualities of the coffee and we’re doing market studies to see how we can improve the brand,” Ramos said.
Ramos currently is involved in construction and real estate, but has a background in consumer products, previously working at General Mills (NYSE: GIS), Unilver (LSE: ULVR) and Pepsico (NYSE: PEP). “I managed billion-dollar brands and customers for 21 years,” he said.
After moving back to Tampa in 2004, he opened Ramos Design Build Corp., a general contractor, and Re/Max Bay To Bay, a real estate firm, but still wanted to be involved in consumer products.
Ramos said he’s known the partners in Profecta Ventures for more than five years.
“We’re a small venture capital company out of Abu Dhabi, private owned, with food and beverage businesses in the Middle East,” said Jonathan Tait, managing partner at Profecta, who will jointly manage Indigo and its growth with Tait.
Profecta wanted to move into the U.S. market and Indigo was the opportunity to do that.
“The Indigo brand is strong in Tampa and we believe we can reinvigorate it, with Mr. Ramos’ help,” Tait said.
– Margie Manning is Finance Editor of the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She covers the Money beat.