Independent coffee shop chain Bob & Berts has opened its first Belfast city centre store in an investment worth £200,000. The 3,000 sq ft store based on Fountain Street will create 35 new jobs.
Bob & Berts was founded in Portstewart in 2013 by Colin McClean. His brother in law, David Ferguson, joined the business in 2015. The business, which is known for its distinctive style, quality offering and local community focused approach, has 16 coffee shops across Northern Ireland in locations including Coleraine, Portstewart, Stranmillis, Lisburn, Omagh and Dungannon. Bob & Berts currently employs over 300 staff.
The company has built a strong reputation for providing high quality artisan coffee, combined with an extensive fresh food offering and a range of traybakes served throughout the day.
The business plans to open a further 30 sites as part of a growth strategy supported by BGF, a long-term investor into growing business in Northern Ireland. The new store is the second to open post investment, following the launch of Bob & Berts in Portadown in November last year.
Colin McClean, founder of Bob & Berts, said: “Since we started the business, it was always a dream to have a store in the city centre next to big name retailers. We currently have two stores in Belfast and won Coffee Shop of the Year 2018 for our Lisburn Road Store. Our new store is located opposite Belfast City Hall, in an area of high footfall and good brand visibility. We’ll be able to seat over 100 customers with outside seating for 30. The location is the perfect spot to attract office workers, families who are out shopping and tourists.
“Our branding, food selection and interior design sets us apart from our competition and we believe that we have created an environment which encourages people to relax. We’re hoping to open a second store in the Belfast area before the end of the year and we’re actively looking at several locations. We’ve set ourselves aggressive growth targets for the coming years with the aim of opening eight new stores this year and looking to grow the business to over 30 stores.”
Bob & Berts is also set to open its first store in Scotland this summer.
Mr McClean added: “We’re excited to be opening our first store in Falkirk at the end of June and we have plans for another seven stores across Scotland.”