You won't find many family-owned businesses with more than 600 locations, but Caffe Nero is special in many respects. Its expansion all across the country in a mere 20 years is all thanks to founder Gerry Ford, who decided that the U.S. cafes paled in comparison to Italian coffeehouses. To fix the problem, he opened an Italian cafe serving its own house blends of espresso and coffee, which would soon spawn hundreds of offshoots.
One branch of Caffe Nero is right in Reading, so you can visit yourself to taste the difference. Unlike other chain coffee houses, Caffe Nero takes the time to train its baristas thoroughly so that they become true artisans. In fact, each barista must attend Caffe Nero's own Espresso Training School in order to start working behind the counter. So when you order a classic espresso, a cafe latte, or a simple cup of brewed coffee, expect a cup filled with complex and delicious flavor notes.