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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Herbert Hyman, who founded the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in 1963 and saw the chain expand to nearly a thousand stores in 29 countries, has died at age 82, a spokeswoman for the company said on Friday.
Hyman died on Monday in Camarillo, California, Meghan Patke, a representative for the company, said in an email. She did not provide the cause of death.
He founded his company's first coffee shop in the upscale Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles in 1963.
The chain in 1989 came out with an iced blended drink after a number of employees started experimenting with mixing coffee and ice, and Hyman customized the process, according to the company's website.
In 1998, Hyman sold the company to brothers Sunny and Victor Sassoon, entrepreneurs from Singapore.
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in a statement expressed sadness at Hyman's death.
"We continue to uphold his vision and passion for sourcing the highest quality coffee and tea from around the world, and are forever indebted to the Hyman family for starting this incredible brand and business which has seen unprecedented growth and success over the last 50 years," the statement said.
"Our thoughts and condolences remain with his wife, Mona, and their family," it said.
In September, Boston-based private equity firm Advent International and CDIB Capital, an Asian firm, agreed to take a large stake in The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, with stores in the Middle East, Europe and Asia as well as the United States.
Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Prudence Crowther