BEAR expands to Stone


Bondholder BEAR Coffee Co has secured a £230,000 cash injection from HSBC UK to continue its ambitious expansion strategy, which has seen its latest café-bar open in Stone, Staffordshire.

BEAR, which opens its third location this week, has added to its existing outlets in Derby and Uttoxeter, creating 15 new jobs for the local economy in the process. The new café-bar will provide customers with speciality coffee, fresh food, cocktails and craft beer in the former HSBC building.

The finance from HSBC UK has been used to design and fit-out the store, cover BEAR’s marketing budget for the launch and train new team members. The business expects the Stone branch to turnover approximately £500,000 per year. To support this growth, BEAR coffee will add a mezzanine level to the new café-bar and open a roof terrace in Summer 2019.

Craig Bunting, Co-founder of BEAR, commented on its recent expansion: “We opened our first BEAR in 2016, with the aim of serving great coffee in a warm and welcoming environment, but what really sets us apart is our love for coffee products and connecting with the community around us.

“Our HSBC UK Relationship Manager, Daniel Williams, has made the whole process really smooth and we’re delighted that the bank has been able to support us again with our latest branch opening. The growth of BEAR so far has been an incredible and humbling journey and we look forward to delivering our strategy of being a UK Challenger Brand.”

Mark Lupton, HSBC UK’s Area Director for Business Banking in Greater Birmingham, commented: “BEAR has become an established name in the Midlands and this new branch takes them one step closer to expanding further. Supporting entrepreneurs and helping to foster start-ups is a vital objective for HSBC UK – we can’t wait to see what Craig and his team do next.”

BEAR is working to expand throughout the Midlands and beyond, with plans to open up to 30 stores nationwide over the next five years and grow a high quality, responsible brand with positive financial results.