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Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Taps Trader Joe’s VP As Its New CFO

The Coffee Bean Tea Leaf Karen Cate

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, the oldest and largest privately-held specialty premium coffee and tea retailer in the U.S., has appointed Trader Joe’s executive Karen Cate as its CFO. She is responsible for all accounting, finance, treasury and IT functions at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Her teams are focused on delivering value-added business successes that drive superior financial performance for the company.

Prior to joining The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Cate was the VP, controller of Trader Joe’s Co., where she was responsible for the integrity of financial processes and reporting for the retail grocery store, warehouses and distribution operations. She also has held financial management positions for Sun Microsystems Inc., Nestle USA and Avery Dennison Corp.

Jeff Schroeder
Jeff Schroeder

In addition, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has named Jeff Schroeder its VP of operations. He is responsible for the company’s domestic store operations, including company-owned and franchise store support, customer relations, operations services and training. Schroeder brings more than 30 years of experience with large multi-unit operations in the restaurant industry. He has been involved in the rapid expansion of major restaurant organizations; most recently, Schroeder served as VP of Brewery Restaurants for Karl Strauss Brewing Co. He also worked with Jack in the Box as division VP and held operational management roles at McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Arby’s.

“The momentum we’re generating at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf requires solid financial, technological and operations expertise. We searched extensively to find the most seasoned leaders in these fields and we’re proud to welcome Karen and Jeff. Their talent, experience and people-first orientation complement our existing leadership team, which further positions us to attain our goals for the coming years,” says President and CEO John Dawson.

In September 2013, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf announced that Advent International, CDIB Capital and Mirae Asset Private Equity joined together to acquire a significant equity position in the company. Dawson was appointed president and CEO of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf as of Jan. 1. His background includes leadership positions at Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc., where he held various positions over the past eight years, most recently serving as the global development officer of Dunkin’ Donuts, as well as VP of worldwide restaurant development at McDonald’s Corp. Recently, Bill Robards joined the company as VP of store development and Cori Connell was appointed VP of legal services.

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