Kraft Foods has backed a group of retail entrepreneurs to open a national chain of Cadbury-branded cafés designed to compete with high street coffee shops across the UK.

The US food-maker has endorsed a 20-year license for up to 60 ‘Cadbury Cocoa House’ outlets that will offer afternoon teas and a dedicated chocolatier service.

Negotiations are already underway with landlords for the first sites in London, which could open their doors for business before the end of the year.

Further openings will then be phased over the next three to five years.

David Morris, Harrods’ former director of food, beverages and restaurants, will head up the new venture as chief executive, with retail entrepreneur Marilyn Newman acting as chair.

Cadbury opened a café in Bath several years ago but closed the outlet in 2007.

The iconic chocolate maker had been in discussions about opening several outlets before its controversial £11.6bn takeover by Kraft earlier this year.

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