| UK

UK-based The Coffee House secures £4m to scale reach in the northwest

The 22-store coffee chain will use the investment from AJ Bell founder Andy Bell to open new outlets, grow its staff headcount and expand its 17,000sq ft coffee roasting and food production facility

The Coffee House has grown to 22 stores primarily across towns in Manchester and Liverpool | Photo credit: The Coffee House


Cheshire-based operator The Coffee House has received £4m ($5m) investment from AJ Bell founder Andy Bell to support outlet growth across the northwest of the UK. 

Founded in 2011 by brothers Chris and Stephen Shelmerdine, The Coffee House has grown to 22 stores primarily across towns in Manchester, Liverpool and Stoke-on-Trent. The business expects to open at least eight further stores across the next 12 months as part of plans to become the leading coffee shop operator in the region.  

The Coffee House will also use the investment to further develop its 17,000sq ft coffee roasting and food production facility in Warrington which, when complete, will have capacity to support more than 80 stores. Work has already commenced on developing the production site to include a new training school to enhance staff training and recruitment. 

“This investment is a massive milestone for our business as it provides us with the means to enhance our operational capabilities and, crucially, the resources to develop our management teams to support success far into the future. Recently, our focus has been on creating the infrastructure to support a growing coffee chain; it is exciting to be entering a new stage of growth where we continue to expand the team that will take us into the future,” said Chris Shelmerdine, Managing Director, The Coffee House. 

Andy Bell is CEO of Manchester-based investment platform AJ Bell. The £4m ($5m) investment also includes a contribution from Bell’s business partner Fergus Lyons. Chris and Stephen Shelmerdine retain a controlling share of The Coffee House and will continue in their respective Managing Director and Development Director positions.  

“Great businesses need great products and great people. The Coffee House has both. Chris and Stephen are dynamic and have created a great business in an exciting market making this one of my easier investment decisions,” Bell said. 

Several UK coffee chains have received investment in recent months to scale their operations and kickstart expansion. 

In October 2023, specialty roaster Origin Coffee secured £3.1m ($3.8m) to scale its digital, direct-to-consumer, retail and wholesale channels, while premium chocolate and coffee chain Knoops bagged £8.3m ($10.4m) the following month to more than double its footprint this year.

London-based WatchHouse completed a £7.9m ($10m) funding round in December 2023 to facilitate outlet growth in the UK and US and has seen its May 2024 Crowdcube campaign exceed £7m ($8.8m). Additionally, coffee social enterprise Redemption Roasters is seeking to triple sales over the next three years after closing a £2.7m ($3.3m) investment round last month. 

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