The independent coffee shop chain Bob & Berts has become the third company in Northern Ireland to secure a major equity investment from the Business Growth Fund (BGF).
The company has 16 coffee shops across Northern Ireland in locations including Coleraine, Portstewart, Stranmillis, Lisburn, Omagh and Dungannon.
The £2m investment will be used to support the company’s growth strategy to open 30 additional stores in Northern Ireland, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland.
The expansion is expected to create up to 600 new full-time and part-time jobs. Bob & Berts was founded in Portstewart by Colin McClean, his father Arnold and brother-in-law David Ferguson.
As part of its investment, industry expert Mohan Mansigani will be joining the company’s board as the non-executive chair. Also joining Bob & Berts’ board will be Gemma Hamilton, an investor from BGF’s Northern Ireland team.
Colin said: “The business is growing quickly and we are ambitious to take the next step. We have successfully opened 10 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.”
Patrick Graham, head of BGF’s Northern Ireland and central Scotland team, said: “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.”
The BGF has invested in two other Northern Irish businesses: housebuilder Braidwater and waste management experts RiverRidge.