Bear open to investment to fund site expansion
Midlands-based BEAR, the coffee, kitchen and bar operator, has revealed it is open to investment for the concept, which has plans to roll-out to 30 sites.
The coffee shop chain, opened its third location this week in Stone, Staffordshire, adding to its existing outlets in Derby and Uttoxeter. It obtained finance of £230,000 from HSBC bank to fund the design and fit-out the store, cover the marketing budget for the launch and training for new team members.
Craig Bunting (pictured right), who co-founded Bear with Michael Thorley in 2014, told Coffee Business World that it was in the process of securing its fourth site with a view to opening in March 2019.
The chain is currently funded with bank and asset finance and there are plans for a Crowdfunder equity campaign in the future as well as investment.
“We have had a few private equity houses approach us already,” Bunting told Coffee Business World.
“We are looking at investment but we feel our business is worth more to us now than it would be to an investor.”
He said the major issue for the business was finding the “right locations at the right price” but said the company was “happy to lose out” rather than overpay.
“There are sites in Nottingham that we are looking at and we are putting an offer in. We might not actually get them because we refuse to pay anymore than we believe is the right risk take,” he said.
Bear’s first site was in Uttoxeter and opened with the slogan 'not another coffee shop'', with the concept offering an all-day environment that transforms from coffee shop at 8am to restaurant and bar well into the evening.
The Bear offer includes great coffee, loose-leaf teas, craft beers, cocktails and wine – with good quality food to "glue" everything together.
Louise Cook, Bear's head of coffee, said: “Here at Bear, coffee is our world - all of our roasts are of a single origin and carefully selected from sustainable sources so we can make sure that every cup we serve is delicious. We’re thrilled to have opened up a site in Stone and can’t wait to share our passion for coffee with the community.”
- Craig Bunting is a member of the European Coffee Expo steering panel.
- European Coffee Expo is on May 21-22, 2019 at London’s Olympia. Click here to register.