Shakeup with Moxie Java coffee shops

Brad Iverson-Long//December 19, 2012

Shakeup with Moxie Java coffee shops

Brad Iverson-Long//December 19, 2012

Moxie Java International, based in Boise, is looking for up to 10 new Boise-area coffee shops, as several existing Moxie Java locations are rebranding. The owners of the rebranding locations, including several shops in Meridian, settled a lawsuit with Moxie Java right before a trial was set to begin.

Rick Dean, the owner of Moxie Java, said the new franchised locations won’t open overnight. He has plans for up to 10 locations to open within three years. The new Moxie Javas could range in size from double drive-thrus to larger 2,400-square- foot bistros. He said one of the goals of the new stores is to have better consistency of products throughout the stores.

“This is probably the best thing that’s happened to us for a long time,” Dean said.

Several of the Moxie Java stores that will soon fly a different coffee banner are owned by Boulder Creek Enterprises, which has had agreements with Moxie Java since 1996. The company runs five locations in Meridian as well as locations in Nampa and Mountain Home. Boulder Creek owner Jesse Mallard wouldn’t comment on the events leading up to the changes, and he declined to say how the stores would become part of a new or existing chain of coffee shops.

“We are excited about the concept and rebrand that we’re doing,” Mallard said.

Boulder Creek sued Moxie Java in 2010, claiming a breach of contract on brand agreements and price discrimination. The suit alleged that Boulder Creek had rights to the Moxie Java brand in Meridian, and was undercut in 2008 when Moxie Java began selling coffee beans in Wal-Mart and Costco stores as part of a promotion for the Special Olympics. Boulder Creek also alleged that it was not allowed to purchase coffee from those retailers, which offered a lower price on a pound of coffee than Moxie Java did on wholesale.

In legal filings, Moxie Java answered the complaint saying that the brand agreements weren’t infringed and that it had the right to sell Moxie Java coffee beans at stores. Moxie Java also counterclaimed that Boulder Creek’s lawsuit violated its agreement, and it sought to end the agreement.

The two sides settled out of court in August, before a jury trial was set to start in November. Neither Mallard nor Dean would comment on the settlement or whether it caused the end of the relationship between Moxie Java and the Boulder Creek stores.

Moxie Java lists close to 50 locations in seven states on its website, most of them in Idaho. That list includes the locations owned by Boulder Creek, which includes Meridian locations on Eagle Road, Meridian Road and Cherry Lane Road, as well as near Locust Grove Road and Chinden Boulevard. Boulder Creek also owns Moxie Java/TCBY locations in Nampa and Mountain Home.