10 out of 17 Filmore and Union Group sites – as well as the chain’s production kitchen – have been taken over by a coffee shop collective a day after the business went into administration.
Coffeesmiths Collective, a US and UK chain that already owns brands such as the Department of Coffee and Social Affairs, Small Batch Coffee Roasters and Baker & Spice, snapped up the sites in a pre-pack deal with administrators.
It is thought that around 70 jobs have been saved as a result of the agreement, however 80 positions have been made redundant following the closure of the seven sites not included in the pre-pack.
The Coffeesmiths Collective specialises in rolling out and acquiring specialty coffee shops and companies preserving, wherever appropriate, the strong individual identities of those regarded as ‘local institutions’.
It claims to bring “light touch economies of scale enhancing the customer experience and increasing shareholder value without altering the fabric of the uniqueness of many of its established assets”.
On its website, Yorkshire-based Filmore and Union said “we are now part of a family of speciality coffee shops, bakeries and cafes, where our brand and values will be preserved”.
The administration process is being handled by FRP Advisory, which was appointed on Friday after the business reported severe cash flow pressures following a period of difficult trading.
Joint administrator Phil Pierce stated: “Filmore and Union is a well-known and popular independent chain with a strong reputation across the North of England. We are pleased to have been able to secure a deal which crucially protects a large number of jobs in the local area and will help to maximise returns for creditors. We wish the team at Coffeesmiths Collective all the best as they continue to expand their business.
“Unfortunately, it has not been possible to secure the sale of all sites, and we are working with the Redundancy Payments Service to provide support for all employees affected at this difficult time.”