WITH the opening yesterday of the new “Cappuccino” cafeteria in Plaza Joan Carles I on the Borne in Palma, the chain now has 10 branches and boasts interior design work by Michael Smith who was asked by President Barak Obama and his wife to redecorate the White House in Washington.

The majority of Cappuccino Grand Café outlets are on Majorca, although there is also one in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia - the first in a foreign country - and very soon, another branch will be opening in Valencia which will bring the total to 11.

The owner of the chain, Jaume Picornell, was the key figure at yesterday's opening in Plaza Joan Carles I. He claimed that a “Cappuccino” in this location had long been called for. He said that the new business had been the result of “intense negotiations” as well as the interior design work of Michael Smith considered to be one of the best professionals in the United States. He had been chosen by Barak Obama and his wife Michelle to redecorate the White House, a process it has undergone only three times in its entire history.

According to Pircornell, he met with Smith at Easter last year in the house of some of his clients from North America who live in Deya, just at the time when he was starting to negotiate the operating terms of the premises which opened yesterday.

Smith was reported to have visited one of the already-existing “Cappuccinos” and to have been captivated by it, particularly “by the music.” There then arose the possibility of his providing the interior design for the one in Plaza Joan Carles I and he took up the opportunity.

The frescoes on the walls of the new Cappuccino Grand Café are by Californian muralist Maria Trimbell who was also at yesterday's opening. The cafés have introduced a new “take away” service, available at some branches in Palma.