THE owners of an independent food & coffee shop brand have cited Scotland as a key target for business growth as they prepare to open a new store in Stirling with plans underway for around six new outlets across the country.
Bob & Berts, which re-opened its existing shops in Kirkcaldy, Falkirk, Dumfries and Dunfermline last month, expect to launch the new Stirling store late October after its intended April opening date was postponed due to COVID-19.
The store on Murray Place will create 25 jobs and the company plans to recruit further as its roll-out strategy progresses.
Founded in Northern Ireland’s Portstewart, Bob & Berts expanded into Scotland in 2018 just one year after BGF made a £2m equity investment into the company to help further drive its business growth and geographical footprint.
Colin McClean, who founded Bob & Berts with co-owner David Ferguson, said: “We’re now very much looking forward to the opening of our Stirling store and expanding our brand across Scotland.
“We see it is a key growth area and hope to open around six new stores over the next year across Scotland with a focus on market towns to retain our local community feel.”
Lockdown led to Bob & Berts introducing a number of new innovations including the launch of an online ordering service through its own app which has had a positive impact on sales.
David said: “Lockdown has given us confidence that we can deliver a takeaway service and we have seen the success of our app. We know there may be more twists and turns because of coronavirus but we’re committed to delivering a great service in safe environments for our staff and customers.”
Bob & Berts is one of over 30 companies in Scotland to have received investment from BGF. It has backed 24 new companies in the first half of this year whilst continuing to actively support its portfolio.
Last month, BGF made an investment of £2.7 million in Scotland’s largest family-owned paint retailer, The Paint Shed.
As a result, the funding has enabled the Stirling-headquartered business to expand its online presence, accelerate its ecommerce capabilities and expediate the roll out of additional stores – all of which will create 20 new jobs over the next 24 months.