Coffee #1 takes on big brands
14 June, 2010
Fledgling chain Coffee #1 is carving out a solid niche in the coffeehouse sector in south west England and south Wales, the Sunday Times reports.
Founder James Shapland tells the paper that the birth of the company in 2000 was far from easy. “Stock market analysts were saying that the coffee bar model was a flash in the pan, but I thought there was an opportunity to open a coffee chain the provinces,” he remembers.
With investment from a family friend, his father opened the first Coffee #1 branch in Cardiff a year later—but it was on the brink of collapse when Shapland left his job in the city to turn it around. An overhaul of the chain’s interiors, investment in staff and an upgrading of the coffee served were among the measures that helped to pay off Coffee #1’s debt. The company now has 12 branches in its corner of the country, with sales doubling last year to £4m.
For the full story see How I Made It: James Shapland of Coffee #1.