Bob & Berts marks reopening in NI with new expansion plans
First store in England opens in Lancaster with more planned in both NI and Scotland
Independent coffee shop chain Bob & Berts has marked the reopening of hospitality in Northern Ireland by announcing plans for new stores and further expansion of its business.
Founded in Portstewart in 2013 by Colin McClean, Bob & Berts is known for its distinctive style, quality offering and local community focused approach. Colin recognised the market opportunity to create a brand that focused on satisfying the demand for quality coffee and fresh food, including breakfast, lunch and evening meals.
The business has 14 stores across Northern Ireland in locations such as Belfast, Lisburn, Omagh and Dungannon, and five stores in Scotland, including Falkirk, Kirkcaldy and Stirling.
This week, Bob & Berts has opened its first store in England in the town of Lancaster and confirmed that two further stores will open in the north of England over the summer, first in Kendal in June and then in Preston in July.
New stores will also be opening in Scotland and Northern Ireland before the end of the year, with locations to be revealed in the coming months.
Colin McClean, founder of Bob & Berts, said: “We’ve been shaking up the coffee shop industry everywhere with our simple commitment to serving customers proper coffee and great grub, and we’re delighted to launch Bob & Berts into England for the first time. We carefully select each of our locations and we’re confident the people of Lancaster will love what we have to offer.
“There’s no doubt that the last 15 months have been incredibly challenging for everyone in hospitality and with all of our stores in Northern Ireland now fully reopened, the team at Bob & Berts are excited to welcome our customers back. Safety measures such as floor markings, till screens and social distancing will still be in place, but we look forward to giving them the experience they’ve been missing for so long.”
Bob & Berts has built a strong reputation for supplying high quality, artisan coffee, with 100% arabica beans that are slow batch hand-roasted in Northern Ireland. Combined with a distinctive relaxed style and an extensive hot food offering, the brand has built up a wide and very loyal customer base that continues to grow.
During the coronavirus pandemic, Bob & Berts adapted to lockdown restrictions by creating its own app to enable its customers to order for collection and delivery while cafes were closed.
David Ferguson director of Bob & Berts added: “Bob & Berts took on the challenge of lockdown and used it as a reason to innovate and find new ways to keep serving our customers. The development of our app and online system presents long term opportunities that we hope to develop even as we welcome customers back to our stores.
“When Bob & Berts was first set up, we wanted to offer something different to large multi-national coffee chains. 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. As we continue to expand across Northern Ireland, Scotland and England, all of our new cafes are being created with this culture in mind.”
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