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8 Investment Opportunities Wake up and smell the coffee Te easy way to do business in a booming coffee sector whatever your level of investment


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It was while Mayfair beverage and


Nathan attributes much of entertainment entrepreneur


Nathan Lowry was having a cele- bratory coffee with easyJet founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou, after sealing a seven-figure business deal, that the two men came up with the idea for easyCoffee. Hoping to replicate the success of easyJet, which revolu- tionised the airline industry with its high-value but low-cost flights, the duo have turned their attention to the lucrative coffee shop and coffee vending sectors. Launched two years ago, the


latest member of the ‘easy’ family, easyCoffee, is taking on the major coffee chains with its quality fairtrade coffee at value prices. In a booming market — the coffee market was worth £9.6bn last year — selling quality coffee at 25% lower prices than the major chains is a disruptor move that’s already made easyCoffee one of fastest-growing coffee chains on the high street. In a crowded market and shrug-


ging off the woes facing other high street chains, easyCoffee appears to have found a gap in the market for customers wanting a quality coffee at a value price in attractive surroundings, and in the rapidly growing coffee-vending business. It’s seen the chain grow from an initial flagship shop in Leicester Square two years ago to selling its millionth cup of coffee earlier this year in a dozen UK coffee shops and scores of vending machines.


the


chain’s success to the time the company spent perfecting its fran- chise model before embarking on ambitious expansion plans that will see it open 200 coffee shops over three years and install 800 vending machines in the next year. The company offers two franchise models: capital-lite vending machines; and single or multi-store coffee shop fran- chises. Yet, he admits that a fran- chise operation wasn’t initially on the cards. After opening its first easyCoffee


shops in London, easyCoffee was inundated with enquiries — more than 1,000 to date — from people wanting to open their own easyC- offee shops or get involved. However, in addition to being attracted by the strength of the ‘easy’ brand and the tax benefits that come with a fran- chise business investment, they also wanted the support of an experi- enced team to help them launch and run their businesses. Nathan explains: “Te ‘easy’ brand


is known for value and is much loved — people may have taken their first holiday on an easyJet flight, or use it regularly for business trips. Te people contacting us saw the finan- cial advantage in being part of a brand with such wide appeal and emotional connection.” It quickly became clear to Nathan


that a franchise operation was the best way forward.


Te ‘easy’ brand is known for value and is much loved — people may have taken their first holiday on an easyJet flight, or use it regularly for business trips. Te people contacting us saw the financial advantage in being part of a brand with such wide appeal and emotional connection


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