Archive for March, 2008




Coffee wars are about to break out in Nottingham.

Coffee Republic plans a major push to open new outlets across Notts and the East Midlands.

A new outlet opens in June on Fletcher Gate in Nottingham and entrepreneur Heath Samples plans eight across Notts and Lincs.

Coffee Republic, although strong in London, has little representation in the Midlands.

The Fletcher Gate outlet will be run by franchisee Will Flanagan.

Core opening hours are 7am to 7pm and each outlet will create up to eight jobs.

Mr Samples is also the master franchisor in Yorkshire and Humberside.

Mr Samples, who lives in Ratcliffe-on-Trent, owns a number of businesses including an internet TV channel and a gaming machine business.

There is already an outlet in The Cornerhouse on South Sherwood Street.

“We be opening up to eight a year for the next three years across Notts and Lincs including Mansfield and Worksop.”

Mr Samples has bought the right to sell the opportunity to open either a new store or convert an existing store.

“There is some saturation in the Notts and Lincs area but the big opportunity is for those who have an outlet which is not branded. We can give a fixed price for what it will cost to turn it into a Coffee Republic. They run it themselves buying the product from us. It is very competitive.”

An average outlet costs between £100,000 and £130,000 to open covering shop-fitting and franchise fees.

Non-branded outlets could be converted to Coffee Republic for about £30,000, added Mr Samples.

“They pay us as master franchisor nine per cent a year. We supply training, products plus all the promotional packs,” added Mr Samples.

Franchisees have the chance to obtain a liquor licence.

He said non-branded coffee houses were coming under pressure because powerful brands were moving into town centres.

Mr Samples has also acquired the rights to offer franchises of Coffee Republic to cinemas, arcades, bowling alleys, pubs and entertainment centres.

Mr Samples runs a number of businesses.

He sells casino machines for export to Europe and further afield, based out of London and Ruddington.

He bought a shop-fitting business, Lighthouse, which is an exclusive shopfitter for Coffee Republic.


Coffee by the canal as city’s vision of Venice takes shape

A NEW York-style delicatessen, a coffee shop and a chocolatier are to open in Fountainbridge, Edinburgh,  as the expansion of the city’s financial district continues.

Scottish deli firm McLeish Brothers and coffee chain Coffee Republic have secured the ground floor space at the £50 million Lochrin Square development. Chocolate retailer Thorntons will also set up a franchised shop.

The new retailers are expected to open at the former Scotmid headquarters in April, around the same time as Bank of Scotland Corporate moves into its new base on the site.

Business leaders today claimed the move would bring more of a “Venice lifestyle” to the canalside area around the former Fountain Brewery.

The Lochrin Square office development is now on the verge of full capacity, only four months after it was completed. David Robinson, development director at Gladedale Capital, which worked on the project as a joint venture with Scotmid, said: “McLeish Brothers will provide the perfect retail complement to the corporate tenants already at Lochrin Square.

“It’s a fantastic result to have the final space in No.1 Lochrin Square snapped up less than four months after practical completion.

Dundee-based McLeish Brothers is to take a 15-year lease, worth £90,000 a year, as it continues its Scottish expansion.

Coffee Republic announced its return to Scotland last year. It has an espresso bar at FountainPark and is planning a unit at St Andrews Square Gardens.

As well as HBoS, which recently leased 62,000 sq ft of space at No.1 Lochrin Square, legal firm Biggart Baillie LLP and financial services support company Watson Wyatt have also moved to the block.

Stanley Morrice, managing director of McLeish Brothers, said: “Lochrin Square is a marvellous development and its location as well as its quality, infrastructure and general spec, made it the ideal choice for us.”

The new deals were also welcomed by business leaders. Ron Hewitt, chief executive of the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, said:

“There is no doubt the rejuvenation of the Lochrin Basin is one of the most welcome developments in Edinburgh. It brings that Venice lifestyle that changes it from an undesirable nightspot to a place people want to be.


Interview of Siobhan Mooney in The Irish News


The perfect business blend


By Staff reporter

Siobhan Mooney, Coffee Republic’s Master franchisee for Northern Ireland and the Republic is responsible for bringing the premium international brand to Northern Ireland with the recent launch of the flagship Coffee Republic Deli at the Abbeycentre. A second deli will open in Strabane in April with an additional five outlets launching across the island of Ireland over the next 12 months.

What was your first job?

My father ran a successful pub in Limerick so needless to say that was where I had my first taste of the service industry. It was great but hard work and I would say the experience has stood by me.

How much were you paid?

Peanuts – quite literally. My pay was a packet of peanuts and a bottle of coke.

What qualifications do you have?

I studied hotel management at Shannon, graduating in 1991, and went on to achieve a masters in service management from the University of Ulster.

What’s been the highlight of your career to date?

No doubt about it, the purchase of Coffee Republic’s master franchise rights for the entire island of Ireland has been a great achievement.

How would you describe yourself to someone who’d never met you?

Approachable and down to earth with an optimistic outlook.

Who do you look up to in business?

I admire anybody who has taken the risk and started their own business. Life’s way too short for regrets. It’s obvious that you can always change the future if you don’t like your life but you can only regret not having tried.

What one thing would you change to make your job easier?

Less of a reliance on e-mails. While technology is great, I prefer meeting and talking to people directly. You get a better feel for how things are going and making decisions is easier face to face.

How do you get the best out of people who work for you?

Communication, direction and empathy. Understanding where others are coming from certainly makes relationships, whether business or personal, easier.

What’s your greatest passion outside work and family?

Art and anything arty. At one stage I was accepted to art college but decided to be more sensible so I now paint in my free time for relaxation and fun.

What’s your favourite book?

At this stage I would have to say The Time Traveller’s Wife. Intriguing, unusual and a great discussion for a book club.

What sort of car do you drive?

A Golf. Great reliability and, touch wood, not even a puncture to date.

Have you any unfulfilled ambitions?

I’m very happy with how my life has evolved so there is no nagging desire at present. This is possibly a good thing as I’m happy to devote my time to family and building Coffee Republic in Ireland at present.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in their career?

Never be afraid to start with the basics. Consider how to broaden your knowledge of a variety of different functions and how they interact with your chosen field. Look for the people behind the facades.

If you could swap jobs with someone else for the day, who would it be and why?

I would love to be a great artist with the creativity and freedom to inspire others.


Latest store openings

New store openings this week are as follows;

  • Coffee Republic Served Here @ Travelodge, is a new trial for Coffee Republic and Travelodge situated at their City Road Hotel, in east London. Coffees and other CR favourites will be available all day, and a specially selected deli menu between 7am and 5pm.
  • The opening of the first store in Dubai with the Paris Group.
  • The third concession with the McLeish Brothers in Edinburg.
  • In Scotland new franchisee Vijay Lakhanpal, has opened his doors to the public on Friday 14th March in Merchant Square, Merchant City, one of Glasgow’s most prestigious locations, just minutes away from the city’s busy shopping centre.

Back on the Strand

Coffee Republic Strand

On Monday 3rd March Coffee Republic opened a branch on the Strand with Khaled and Hani. The site marks a return to the Strand for Coffee Republic after the closure of a previous site there in December 2006.

The Branch will be located at 79a The Strand, ondon, WC2R 0DE.


First Coffee Republic in Northern Ireland

The first Coffee Republic Deli in Northern Ireland opened at the Abbeycentre, Newtownabbey on Friday 29th February, representing a £200,000 investment, creating 10 new jobs and offering what was recently voted the best cappuccino in London. The new Deli will focus on securing produce from local food suppliers.

Siobhan Mooney, commenting on the launch, says: “We are delighted to launch our flagship Coffee Republic Deli and ‘Centre for Training Excellence’ in The Abbeycentre, one of Northern Ireland’s longest established shopping centres.” “The Abbeycentre outlet has provided the opportunity to build a local supply chain for products and support services and will play a pivotal role in the future training and development of potential franchisees from all over Ireland,” she adds.