An artisan bakery and café chain with 22 retail outlets in affluent boroughs across the South of London has been put up for sale.
Coughlans Bakery, which also owns nearly 30,000 square feet of freehold industrial space and has two sites under development, is seeking new investors to lead it through its next phase of growth.
The business has traditional roots dating back to 1937, and more recently aligned itself to emerging trends through the development of a leading range of vegan bakery products, a focus on a quality coffee offer and building a strong social media presence.
Having recently completed a realignment of the business with current demand, the company is keen to attract investors to drive the business forward through the next phase of its life cycle and an ambitious expansion program.
Director Sean Coughlan said: “We are in an unprecedented position compared to most bakers as we started our plant-based journey over two years ago. I saw a niche for vegan artisan products but was told that making tasty vegan food was impossible and was driven to prove those people wrong.
“Being a part of the family business and with a skill set in developing recipes and coming up with new products now is the right time to seek investment so we can continue to grow while also developing the plant-based products which are in such high demand from our growing customer base.”
Tom Glanvill, senior business agent at Christie & Co, which is the leading search for a buyer, said: “The UK bakery market is one of the largest in the food industry, with annual revenue in the region of £2.1bn. While some high street retailers have been suffering from well-publicised challenges arising from oversupply, rental pressure, and rising business rates in prime locations, Coughlans have been largely immune to these pressures due to being well-situated in carefully selected secondary retail locations.”
Mr Glanvill said like-for-like revenue growth for 2019 was in “double-digit territory”, while recent openings have enjoyed a “phenomenal” performance.
Sean Coughlan wants to remain at the centre of the operation and continue driving its growth, but two of his fellow directors and siblings will be exiting their roles and a new investor will be able to build the desired support team to deliver the growth strategy.
“The demand for Coughlans innovative and on trend plant-based products is clear. As is the opportunity to scale the business,” continued Mr Glanvill. “The current food production facility is only operating at 55% of its maximum capacity, and new sites readily available. We expect to see interest from a range of investors from within the sector as well as further afield.”