A growing Northern Irish coffee shop chain with 16 sites has set out ambitious plans to more than double the size of its estate after securing a £2m equity investment from BGF, one of the UK’s most active investor in small and mid-sized companies.
Bob & Berts, which is known for its distinctive style, quality offering and local community focused approach, operates 16 coffee shops across Northern Ireland in locations including Coleraine, Portstewart, Stranmillis, Lisburn, Omagh and Dungannon.
The company has built a strong reputation for providing high quality artisan coffee, combined with an extensive fresh food offering and a range of traybakes served throughout the day.
BGF’s investment will be used to support the company’s continued growth strategy, with plans to open 30 additional stores in Northern Ireland, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland.
Once opened the new stores will create up to 600 new full-time and part-time jobs.
Bob & Berts was founded in Portstewart by Colin McClean, his father Arnold and brother-in-law David Ferguson. They recognised the market opportunity to create a differentiated offering, with a focus on satisfying demand for quality coffee and fresh food, including breakfast, lunch and evening meals.
Colin McClean co-owner of Bob & Berts, said: “The business is growing quickly and we are ambitious to take the next step. We have successfully opened 10 new stores in the last two years and are looking to open a further 30 over the next four years. Working with BGF will enable us to accelerate our growth plans and we are now actively looking at sites in Northern Ireland, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland. Fundamental to our growth plans will be maintaining the culture and the ethos which has made Bob & Berts a hit with our customers.”
David Ferguson co-owner of Bob & Berts, said: “When we first set up Bob & Berts, we wanted to offer something different to large multi-national coffee chains. Our branding, food selection and interior design sets us apart from our competition and we believe that we have created an environment which encourages people to relax. All of our new cafes will be created with this culture in mind.”
As part of its investment, industry expert and former Costa executive Mohan Mansigani will be joining the board of Bob & Berts as the company’s non-executive chair.
Mr Mansigani has held a number of senior management positions in the cafes and restaurant sector market and was instrumental in establishing the growth model for Costa Coffee in the UK.
Gemma Hamilton, an investor from BGF’s Northern Ireland team, will also join the board of Bob & Berts.