The Business Growth Fund (BGF) has invested £2 million in Bob & Berts, an independent coffee shop chain in Northern Ireland.
The funding is BGF’s third investment in Northern Ireland following its support of housebuilder Braidwater and waste management experts RiverRidge.
Bob & Berts was founded in Portstewart by Colin McClean, his father Arnold and brother-in-law David Ferguson and now has 16 coffee shops in Northern Ireland in locations including Coleraine, Portstewart, Stranmillis, Lisburn, Omagh and Dungannon.
The company is known for its relaxed style and has built a reputation for providing high quality coffee combined with fresh food and traybakes served throughout the day.
BGF’s investment will be used to help the business grow further and achieve its plans of opening 30 more stores in Northern Ireland, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland. As part of the investment, industry expert Mohan Mansigani will join the board of Bob & Berts as non-executive chair.
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 ten 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.”
Patrick Graham, Head of BGF’s Northern Ireland and Central Scotland team added: “We are excited to begin working with Colin and David who, in a short period, have successfully developed a strong brand with significant growth potential. This investment, along with the introduction of Mohan, who brings a wealth of experience to the company, will help unlock their desire and drive to expand significantly in the coming years and we look forward to partnering with the business for this journey.”
BGF was set up in 2011 to provide funding for small and mid-sized businesses and is now a minority partner in more than 180 companies.