BEAR’s new Café-bar offering in Derby
BEAR has opened its long-awaited 4,500sq ft Derby coffee store in the heart of the city’s Cathedral Quarter, bringing 30 new jobs to the area.
The opening comes after some nine months of development and a £136,000 commercial loan from HSBC.
Founded in 2014 by entrepreneurs Craig Bunting and Michael Thorley, BEAR identified a gap in the food and beverage sector, combining speciality coffee along with fresh seasonal food during the day, and then offering cocktails, craft beers, wines and informal dining during the evening.
The opening of the brand’s Derby store follows the success of its maiden store in Uttoxeter, which opened in January 2016.
Building on this momentum BEAR has also expanded its senior management team, welcoming Chris Price, a former finance director, as an investor and director.
Chris will play an instrumental role in driving BEAR’s future growth strategy, utilising his vast sector experience.
Co-founder of BEAR, Craig Bunting, said: “We’re hugely excited to open our new store in Derby; the city where Michael and I shopped and skateboarded as kids.
“Our vision for BEAR is to combine
“With any new start-up there are numerous challenges to traverse and sourcing investment is a huge one. HSBC’s support, both financial and personal, has been absolutely essential to our success.
“The bank’s guidance is equipping us with the tools to cement our presence within the sector, allowing us to pave the way for our ambitious growth plans.”
Debbie Harper, HSBC area director for business banking in Greater Birmingham, added: “Supporting entrepreneurs and helping to foster start-ups is a vital objective for HSBC and we are proud to see BEAR flourish in the region, with the opening of its second site in Derby.
“Craig and Michael have created a unique selling point which captures a growing consumer trend. Based on the success of their Uttoxeter site and the addition of Chris Price to their board of directors, we have no doubt that the Derby store will be met with equal appetite.”
BEAR is working to expand first throughout the Midlands, and then beyond, with hopes to open up to 30 stores nationwide over the next five years.
BEAR is rapidly building a strong reputation as a dependable, responsible brand, sourcing local and certified produce wherever possible, and promoting a positive, healthy lifestyle through their menus.
HSBC’s relationship manager in Greater Birmingham, Daniel Williams, led the deal for BEAR and continues to provide guidance as the company progresses its business strategy.
The six-figure funding package was secured through HSBC’s recently launched £10bn SME fund.
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