Second Cup plans more cannabis locations, plus TCH and CBD beverages

The Second Cup Ltd. plans to close more stores, sell more of its product in grocery stores and open drive-thrus at Petro-Canada gas stations as it looks to recover from the deep hit absorbed during the COVID-19 pandemic. A detail shot of a flat white coffee at a Second Cup Coffee outlet in Toronto on Thursday, December 4, 2014. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

Canada’s biggest specialty coffee franchisor hopes retail cannabis and non-traditional coffee outlets will give its earnings a much-needed jolt.

Aegis, Second Cup Ltd’s parent company, reported on Friday a net loss of $1.9 million for its most recent quarter (TSX;SCU).

COVID-19 forced massive closures for the company, with closures in mid-March of 19 Bridgehead coffeehouses in Ottawa and 130 of the 244 Second Cup cafés across Canada. As of late July, 16 of 19 Bridgehead coffeehouses and 176 Second Cup reopened, with the company planning to close non-performing stores.

Second Cup plans to open 14 “non-traditional” location in the next 18 months in places such as hospitals, airports, train stations and other transportation hubs. The company is also launching a pilot plan with Petro Canada to open Second Cup drive-thrus.

Second Cup’s parent company open its first retail cannabis location under the brand of Hemisphere Cannabis Co.

“Both sales and gross margins are already trending ahead of projections, and six additional Hemisphere locations are preparing to open across Ontario,” the company said in a news release.

It also plans to find a partner to co-produce a branded line of cannabis products for hits Hemisphere locations, and is also looking to produce THC and CBD beverages featuring Second Cup flavours and branding.

“Our goal, pending future deregulation of CBD, is to make Second Cup the first national coffee chain to sell CBD beverages in our cafés,” said Aegis CEO Steven Pelton.