MSIF backs new Widnes cafe

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A couple from Warrington have secured backing from funding provider MSIF to open a café in Widnes.

John and Dawn Steer have launched Mangobean in the Green Oaks Shopping Centre in Widnes. The café is part of a franchise group that has 14 other outlets across the UK.

The café offers a range of coffee blends including coffee cocktails, fresh fruit and veg smoothies, salads and waffles.

MSIF provided a £50,000 loan as part of a £220,000 investment package that included a loan from HSBC. The funding has been used for start-up costs including securing and fitting out premises, equipment and staff.

John Steer said: “I worked in IT in senior roles for blue-chip companies for 25 years and I became increasingly disenchanted with the corporate world.

“I’d been thinking about running my own business for a while and started to research different business ideas. I love coffee and it is still a growing market in the UK so I began to look at ways in which I could start something.

“Becoming a franchisee has lots of benefits as there is a ready-made business model, supply chain and lots of support so I decided this was the best route for me to go down. I researched lots of different brands however Mangobean stood out as it has a great reputation for quality and that’s why I decided to go with them.

“We opened at the beginning of March and we have been very busy. It’s a great location and we’re already getting repeat business from customers.

“The support from MSIF and HSBC has been crucial to us. It’s very difficult for people like me who haven’t got a business track record to secure funding at competitive rates and I don’t think we’d have been able to launch the funding without the loan.

“I’ve already secured another franchise in Stockport which will launch later in the year and I plan to open four in total.”

The Widnes outlet of Mangobean currently employs six members of staff.

MSIF investment manager George Wright added: “There is a lower risk associated with start-up businesses that are part of a franchise. Mangobean has an excellent business model and is successful in its other outlets.

“Green Oaks shopping centre is a very popular location and gets lots of footfall so there’s lots of passing trade. We are very pleased to be supporting John and Dawn in their venture and wish them every success.”

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