The investment sees Origin Coffee sell a minority stake in its business for the first time and will support growth for the specialty coffee roaster’s direct-to-consumer and wholesale channels
CEO Tom Sobey will remain majority shareholder of Origin Coffee, which he founded in 2004 | Photo credit: Origin Coffee
UK-based Origin Coffee has secured £3.1m ($3.8m) investment to scale its digital, direct-to-consumer, retail and wholesale channels.
The announcement marks the first time the specialty coffee roaster has sold part of its business, with the investment led by London-based investment firm Create Impact Ventures, dairy brand Yeo Valley and The Cornwall & Isle of Scilly Investment Fund.
CEO Tom Sobey will remain majority shareholder of the business, which he founded in 2004.
Tracy Doree, who currently holds non-executive leadership roles at Freddie’s Flowers, Farewill and what3words, will join Origin Coffee’s board as Independent Chair and Non-Executive Director, while former Manchester City FC Chairman David Bernstein will join as non-Executive Director.
“The foundation of our business will remain ethical as we grow, and our efforts from the last couple of decades won’t dwindle. Securing investment like this offers us the flexibility and opportunity to take the company forward. We know this is a big step for Origin Coffee and understand that with this growth comes considerable responsibility to our partners, employees, and the wider industry,” Sobey said.
Origin Coffee, which attained B Corp certification in July 2020, said the investment will also strengthen its commitment to driving sustainability change within UK coffee industry. As part of a four-year plan, the specialty coffee roaster intends to increase its direct green coffee purchases from farmers by 77%.
“We are thrilled to invest in Origin Coffee, a dynamic player in the growing specialty coffee market. We’re excited to join Origin on its journey to expand nationwide while preserving its impressive culture and specialist market position,” said Bernstein.
In March 2023, Origin Coffee announced a new three-year deal to become the exclusive coffee supplier to The Hoxton’s boutique hotels in Europe. The agreement also includes the supply of all coffee equipment, and places Origin Coffee as The Hoxton’s coffee supplier of choice for all new projects.
The specialty coffee roaster opened its first coffee shop in Bristol in September 2023, adding to its three outlets in London and two in Cornwall.