The Coffee Apothecary
Established cafe brand with two cafes looking to expand by adding a coffee roastery
|Location||Ellon, United Kingdom|
|Sectors||Food & Beverage Mixed Digital/Non-Digital Mixed B2B/B2C|
|Incorporation date||24 Sep 2013|
- Flagship cafe est. 2014 | Second café est. 2019 with BrewDog
- Over £2m revenue to date | £661k revenue generated in 2019*
- Established 7 year brand | 4.7* from 1000+ online reviews
- Crowdfunding to launch in-house speciality coffee roastery
The Coffee Apothecary was born out of a desire to bring world-renowned coffee, and the relaxed café culture that we fell in love with whilst living in Melbourne, back to our beautiful corner of Northeast Scotland. In 2014, we bought a run-down village post office and set about breathing new life into it. From day one, we prided ourselves on ethically sourcing the highest quality coffee and ingredients for our inspiring and wholesome menu.
In 2019, we expanded the business by opening a second, larger café with support from BrewDog. This venture recreated our signature, relaxed café atmosphere, and enabled us to introduce a new, sophisticated dining experience with evening openings, craft beer, and cocktails.
With total revenue of over £2m generated since launching in 2014 and £661k of revenue generated in 2019*, we are ready to move our business forward by turning a building we already own, just behind our flagship cafe, into a speciality coffee roastery.
Substantial accomplishments to date
- May: Completed purchase of a run-down post office in rural Aberdeenshire
- Project-managed a complete renovation, transforming the damp, dark shell with no heating, water supply or drainage, into a beautiful cafe
- Dec: Opened the doors with a dedicated team of four staff
- Generated revenue of £151k*
- Focused on constantly improving and adding to our offering
- Introduced outdoor seating to increase covers from 45 to 80
2016 - 2017
- Continued growth with revenue increases of 13% in 2016 and 20% in 2017*
- Approached by BrewDog to open a second cafe in a nearby town centre
- Project-managed the build alongside Brewdog Exec. bar team
- Grew revenue in first cafe by 28%*
- Jan: Opened doors to our second cafe
- Grew the staff team to 40
- June: Introduced evening openings in the new cafe
- Dec: Re-established profitability after significant investment in the business expansion
- Began year on-track for growth predictions
- Highest ever daily takings on final day before lockdown
- Rebounded after lockdown with a successful takeaway-only phase of reopening
- Navigated the challenging circumstances of being open with constantly changing restrictions before the second lockdown
- Full staff retention throughout COVID-19 period
- Finalised design plans for our next expansion venture - the coffee roastery
- Continued to exceed revenue expectations on reopening in April, despite ongoing restrictions
*Based on unaudited Management Accounts.
The coffee roastery will add a new revenue stream to the existing two cafes, and will be financially viable from day one, owing to:
- Supplying the coffee requirements for both cafes, roasted and packaged on-site
- Retail sales of take-home coffee in both cafes
We are designing a new website, complete with e-commerce capabilities and subscription management functions, which will enable online sales to a much larger, far-reaching customer base across the UK through the following:
- Online retail sales
- Online subscription letterbox service
There is also the potential to wholesale to other like-minded speciality cafes in Scotland, the UK, and potentially worldwide.
Use of proceeds
We have worked hard to build a strong and reliable reputation for quality in the local area, and further investment will enable us to take the next logical step in growing our business.
With over 7 years’ experience in the industry, and expertise in creating the finest-tasting coffee, developing an in-house roastery will enhance quality control of the products we serve, and will add a potentially significant retail dimension to our existing model.
The funding will enable us to renovate a run-down building the business already owns and add an extension, which will house the coffee roaster and create space for packing and storing our product. The installation of solar panels to our south-facing roof will support our environmental ethos, and we will improve our staff facilities.
Investment will also fund the purchase of a high-end coffee roasting machine including the associated technology and equipment required to create an exceptional and sustainable product.
The company has the following outstanding loans:
1. £192,500 loan from Triodos Bank at an interest rate of 6.5% + Royal Bank of Scotland base rate per annum. The loan was entered into in May 2014, and is to be repaid by May 2030. The loan was taken out to assist with the purchase of the businesses cafe premises. This loan is secured against the property the company owns. The loan is currently being repaid in monthly instalments, with the current outstanding balance standing at £129,472.70.
2. £50,000 bounce back loan from Royal Bank of Scotland at an interest rate of 2.5% per annum. The loan is to be repaid in monthly instalments ending in October 2026.
3. £225,000 non-interest bearing Directors loan from the two founders of the business, Jonny Aspden and Alison Aspden. The majority of this loan was lent to the business to purchase and renovate the property where the first cafe is situated. The loan will be repaid when the company is in a position to do so.
The funds raised from this investment round will not be used to repay these loans.
Please note, the two Co-Founders of the business currently occupy the residential premises which comprise part of the Company’s premises at The Coffee Apothecary.
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