Ground coffee chain’s US expansion plans

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Coffee shop chain Ground Espresso Bars is set to take the leap into the American market with plans to set up shop in New York.

The home-grown cafe group has grown rapidly over recent years and is set to open its 14th outlet next month.

It ventured outside Northern Ireland for the first time last year with a store in Dublin - but the move stateside will bring the company to an entirely different level.

The company was set up in Coleraine in 2001 by Darren and Karen Gardiner. It spread throughout the north coast area before the group stepped up its expansion across Northern Ireland over the past two years.

Ground said an opportunity had arisen to expand their operation into the United States. Company directors this week took their second trip to the country to explore possible sites and build relationships with potential suppliers.

Darren Gardiner said: “We are delighted to be looking at opportunities in the United States and we look forward to the potential international growth for Ground Espresso Bars.”

Next month, the company is opening its latest standalone store in Magherafelt in a £150,000 investment that will create 15 new jobs. It is the group’s fifth store opening in just eight months.

While Magherafelt will be its seventh stand alone Ground cafe, it has a further seven outlets in the likes of Tesco, Next and Waterstones. However none of those stores operate in the States.