Story of the Day:
Simmons Bars plans seven sites a year as it steps up expansion following private equity investment, adds two more venues: Nick Campbell, chief executive of London-based Simmons Bars, has told Propel the company plans to open seven sites annually over the next three years after receiving investment from private equity firm Lonsdale Capital Partners. Campbell revealed the 12-strong London-based group was about to add two more sites to its portfolio – in Angel and Farringdon. He said while the immediate focus would be on growing the business in London, the company, which is forecast to generate revenues of about £10m for the year ending 31 March 2018, was looking at expansion in regional cities where it could build a cluster of sites. Campbell added: “I want to expand the group on a national scale. If we want to do that quickly then that requires outside investment. It would probably take three times as long if we continue in the way we are now. We were introduced to Lonsdale about six months ago and it went from there. We’re looking to open seven sites a year. We need to see what is available but, given the properties we are being introduced to, we think it’s realistic. If we can do a few more than that, then great and, if it’s less, then that’s fine too. We can be flexible with our site choice – we’re not limited by square footage or location – we’ll make it work for us. Once we get to that 30-site mark, we’ll look more to expanding outside London, although if an opportunity did come up in the meantime then we would certainly look at it. I think cities such as Manchester, Leeds, Bristol and Reading are places we could go and have a cluster of sites.” Campbell said current trading was “very good”, with the company continuing to build on a great Christmas. Campbell was introduced to the business after moving into a flat above the first Simmons site in King’s Cross and worked without salary to turn the bar around in return for a 50% equity stake. After six months of rapidly improving sales, Campbell bought out the co-owner, acquired a second site in Camden and continued the subsequent journey of expansion throughout central London. As part of the Lonsdale deal, which has seen the private equity firm acquire a majority stake, directors David Gasparro and James Knott will join the board of Simmons, while sector entrepreneur Roy Ellis, who founded Revolution, will join as chairman.
Propel Multi Club Conference open for bookings, two free places for operators:
The first Propel Multi Club Conference of 2018 is open for bookings. The full-day event takes place on Wednesday, 7 March at the Grange Hotel in St Paul’s, London. Multi-site operators of pubs, restaurants and foodservice outlets can book up to two free places by emailing Anne Steele at firstname.lastname@example.org
. Speakers include Tim Barrett, travel and leisure analyst at Numis
, who will examine the unprecedented current cost environment in the foodservice sector and the potential winners and losers. Ian Edward, who is leisure advisor to Canaccord Genuity and sits on the boards of Brasserie Blanc, Seafood Pub Company and Hippo Inns
, will set out his views on mergers and acquisitions trends and the ten key challenges and opportunities in the sector. Jon Collins, former chief executive of CGA Group, who has returned to the UK after living in Chicago for two years
, will contrast the US and UK markets and offer thoughts on trends and practices over there that could be ripe for adoption over here. Sarah Bridge, former Mail on Sunday leisure correspondent and founder of the aLadyofLeisure.com hospitality website
, will offer her top ten moments of hospitality, experienced on her travels in the UK and elsewhere, which could be replicated by UK operators. Iqbal Wahhab, founder of Cinnamon Club and Roast
, will talk about the genesis and development of his new US southern barbecue concept Atticus and give his views on how foodservice entrepreneurs can make a difference in their communities. Max Hilton Jenvey, global head of franchise for Chopstix
, which has 35 outlets, will set out how the brand has evolved since its unlikely birth at a fish and chip shop in Camden, with a focus on its rapid progress in the past two years following simplification of its cooking process, international expansion and franchising – and future plans for new concepts, a breakfast offer in transport hubs, further product development and European penetration. Alex Salussolia, managing director of Glendola Leisure
, will talk about the longevity of the company’s three-strong Waxy O’Connor’s brand, which was conceived 25 years ago and is still winning major awards, and the company’s expansion into restaurant and coffee offerings such as Bar & Beef and Gordon Street Coffee. Paul Wells, chairman of Charles Wells
, will talk about making a “sea-change” decision on strategy in selling its Bedford brewery to Marston’s, developing a managed pub estate, partnering great retailers and developing a pub estate in France. Bob Ivell, chairman of Mitchells & Butlers
, whose brand portfolio includes Miller & Carter, Harvester, All Bar One and Toby Carvery, will talk to Paul Charity about progress across the company’s estate as it evolves its offer. Nick Taplin, chief executive of Black and White Hospitality
, will explain how the company is developing a 50-strong franchised restaurant estate in partnership with chef Marco Pierre White, its unique brands, its USPs, partnership model and future prospects. Meanwhile, Yasha Estraikh, of Piper
, will report on the findings of an exclusive survey of UK foodservice operators, undertaken in partnership with Propel, in relation to the effects of the growth in delivery opportunities on their business.
Operators can have their say on food delivery in Propel and Piper survey:
Operators have the chance to give their thoughts and experiences on food delivery and the effect it has on their business in a new survey. Propel has partnered with Piper, investors in fast-growing consumer brands, to conduct the survey. It should take no more than ten minutes to complete and participants will be sent a copy of the research. All individual responses are confidential and data will only be viewed in an anonymous, non-attributable and aggregated way. Neither Piper nor Propel are compensated by any company to conduct the survey and will not sell individual responses or pass them to third parties. To take part in the survey, click here
. The findings will be presented by Yasha Estraikh, of Piper, at the next Propel Multi Club Conference on Wednesday, 7 March at the Grange Hotel in St Paul’s, London.
Chabber, co-owned by NOMA’s Claus Meyer, looks for test partners prior to London expansion: Chabber (www.chabber.com), an online agency that supplies temporary staff to 270 hospitality companies in Denmark and is co-owned by NOMA’s Claus Meyer, is looking to recruit test partners in the UK ahead of a full launch. In Copenhagen, the company has 5,000 chabbers (freelancers) on its platform. Co-founder Valdemar Rasmussen said: “We are basically seeing more and more clients reducing the number of casual workers and traditional temp agencies in order to rely on Chabber’s platform instead. Chabber is coming to London next, and we are looking for test partners within London. A major part of our domestic strategy has been to work closely with selected clients to shape our platform to their needs, and we intend to maintain this strategy in the UK. We are therefore looking for companies who want to help shape our UK platform, and thereby help us to help them overcome their staffing challenges.” Companies wanting to pursue this opportunity or to find out more can email the Chabber team on email@example.com or call +45 9360 0939.
Doubts cast over effectiveness of plastic straw bans: An investigation by environmental forum Footprint has cast doubt on the effectiveness of banning plastic straws – because bio-degradable replacements are not being composted. In the past six months, a host of major pub and restaurant chains have pledged to stop offering plastic straws to customers and provide compostable or biodegradable alternatives following concerns over marine pollution. However, Footprint’s investigation found “little evidence” that eco-friendly straws were being disposed of in the most “responsible way”. It said some businesses had admitted to not composting the straws, while others said they had little idea where recyclable paper straws ended up. Footprint said the compostable straws had “terrific potential” but the UK’s waste infrastructure was not set up to support their responsible disposal. Mark Hilton, head of sustainable business at Eunomia Research & Consulting, said: “If the biodegradable straws go into the general waste and that waste then goes to landfill, that is actually worse than having plastic in there since the biodegradation will generate methane. If companies really need straws, paper ones that are both recyclable and biodegradable are preferable since they can be recycled if mixed with a card collection and will do far less damage if they find their way into marine environments.”
Forward summer bookings at inland B&Bs up 10.3%: Forward bookings at inland British bed and breakfasts (B&Bs) for this summer are up 10.3%, according to Eviivo, the online booking specialists for independent hotels and B&Bs. The quarterly National B&B Index revealed seaside bookings are up 5%, with northern resort towns doing especially well. The data showed bookings in Skegness had risen 23%, while Scarborough and Whitby had seen an increase of 22% and 14.3% respectively. Eviivo director Ruth Whitehead said: “The surge in popularity of Britain’s stylish and comfortable B&Bs continues for good reason and we’re seeing another year of strong forward booking performance. B&Bs are also getting a boost from the value of the pound, which is having a positive impact on the choices of British holidaymakers and international guests. Immortalised in fiction, on television and in film, Britain’s independent B&Bs, guesthouses and boutique hotels represent the pinnacle of British hospitality, providing some of the UK’s most quirky and unique holiday experiences. Many of these businesses are small, family-run operations and their passion and tireless dedication to offering their customers a fantastic guest experience is truly impressive.”
Industry employers and job centres unite to promote hospitality sector as great place to work: Employers, trade bodies and the Department for Work and Pensions will launch Hospitality Works on Wednesday (7 February), a month-long campaign that will promote the hospitality sector as a great place to work. Businesses can get involved by offering jobs, apprenticeships and taster sessions and by raising awareness of career development opportunities available in the hospitality sector. For the second year running Fred Sirieix, general manager of Galvin At Windows and star of Channel 4 television programme First Dates, will be the face of the campaign. He said: “If you are an employer, you can contribute to Hospitality Works by offering taster days, work experience placements and by broadcasting your organisation as a fun and rewarding place to work. If you’re a job-seeker, your local job centre will have plenty of information about different routes into the industry.” Hospitality Works has created more than 8,000 work placements since its launch in 2015. The campaign, promoted by the hashtag #JobsWithaSmile, comes amid fears of a post-Brexit skills shortages.
Fulham FC appoints Davis Coffer Lyons for mixed-use expansion project: Fulham Football Club has appointed Davis Coffer Lyons for its proposed mixed-use scheme featuring bars and restaurants that is being developed as part of expansion of its Craven Cottage stadium. The football club is building the complex within a new riverside walkway along the Thames. Davis Coffer Lyons has been instructed to advise Fulham FC on creating a “versatile community space” of circa 50,000 square feet to include a range of eateries and licensed premises over five storeys. The plans are included as part of a planning application by the club to accommodate extra fans by demolishing its Riverside Stand and rebuilding it with two tiers of seating, increasing capacity at Craven Cottage from 25,700 to 29,600. Fulham FC had already received planning permission for its previous Riverside Stand proposal in 2013. If Hammersmith and Fulham Council grants permission for the new proposal, the club plans to start work by May 2019 and finish in 2021. Davis Coffer Lyons executive director Paul Tallentyre said: “The new walkway will open up a currently closed section of the Thames riverbank, offering a range of new facilities for local people to enjoy.”
Craftwork Live turns spotlight on crowdfunding and investment: The next Craftwork Live event will discuss the pros and cons of crowdfunding and investment routes for craft beer businesses. The event will take place at The Trampery in Old Street, London, on Monday, 12 February, with headline speakers The Bottle Shop founder Andrew Morgan, Hop Stuff Brewery owner James Yeomans and Sam McMeekin, co-founder of London-based Gipsy Hill Brewing Company. The Bottle Shop completed a funding campaign to create a fully refrigerated supply chain last year, as did Gipsy Hill Brewery for its community taproom, while Hop Stuff Brewery has just hit target to expand its taproom network. Matthew Hall, managing director of Hallway, the digital agency behind Craftwork, said: “Our speakers are inspirational with major successes under their belts and, of course, we’ve got great beer to go with it.” The debut Craftwork Live took place in November.
Upham Group boss – our pubs have moved to the next level: Upham Group chief executive Chris Phillips has told Propel he believes its pubs have “moved to the next level” following a year of consolidating the estate. He said: “We’ve done a lot of work on developing our existing pubs. We get a much better return on investment by working with what we’ve got. We’ve increased the number of bedrooms and restaurant covers at some of our sites and it’s not really affecting operational costs. With our rural pubs, we’re building a corporate offering at the start of the week – we have no problems filling our pubs at the weekend. It’s been a year of consolidation and the pubs have moved to the next level. The White Hart in Overton in Hampshire had its biggest week last week. We’re also putting in new food procurement systems that should help us with our food margins.” Phillips said the company, which operates 16 premium pubs across the south of England, with its own regional brewery, would like to add “a couple” of sites this year and was still targeting a 30-strong estate. He added: “We are looking at our strategy at the moment. I think there will be lots of opportunities out there especially given the slowdown in the casual dining market. Our expansion plans have been limited because it has been hard to find the managers and chefs to run our pubs and kitchens. The company, which saw total sales increase 25.1% to £15.6m for the year ending 31 December 2017, recorded a pre-tax profit for the first time but Phillips said he wished it had done so a year earlier. He added: “We took our eye off the ball a bit while we were looking at the initial public offering, which I think is inevitable given that’s where management needed to focus at the time. This year, though, we’ve been able to fully apply ourselves to the business. We had a restructure at the start of the year, including bringing in a new training and retention manager, which has really helped with retaining staff. We’ve got the management structure in place to allow us to reach that 30-site target.”
Buzzworks to ‘slightly flex model’ as it continues to grow: Buzzworks Holdings managing director Kenny Blair has told Propel the company is looking to “flex its model slightly” as it continues to grow the business. Blair said the Ayrshire-based company, which last week reported turnover increased 15.6% to £14.8m for the year ending 30 April 2017, was now looking at other potential revenue streams. He added: “We are optimistic we are going to continue to grow the business. We are looking to flex our model slightly – the last four venues have all had a pub in them as well as a restaurant. Pub operators are showing strong figures so I think we’ll focus a little more on drink as we move forward. We’re due to open a pub next to our Treehouse restaurant in Ayr in the next six weeks. Accommodation is also something we’re looking at and we’re opening eight bedrooms above one of our current venues – The Mill House in Stewarton.” Buzzworks’ only scheduled opening for 2018 so far is its Scotts restaurant at Port Edgar Marina. However, Blair said the company was in negotiations over another three sites and hoped “at least two would come off”. The company, which currently operates ten venues, reported like-for-like sales grew 2.5% for the four weeks to 31 December 2017. Blair said Buzzworks was facing many cost headwinds that were having an impact on margins but felt the challenge was being “well handled” and was something the business, which has about 500 staff, was “getting on top of”. He added: “We’ve got a huge focus on people and it’s something we’ve been working hard on since the end of the financial year. For example, we’ve reduced the working week, which has obviously had some impact on costs, but we feel it will benefit us in the long run. These people are key to the future of our company.”
Arc Inspirations to continue north west expansion with second Banyan Bar & Kitchen site in Manchester: Arc Inspirations, the Leeds-based bar and restaurant operator led by Martin Wolstencroft, is to open a second site for its flagship Banyan Bar & Kitchen brand in Manchester. The venue, an eighth for the brand in total, will open in the summer in Spinningfields following a £1.6m investment. The 7,000 square foot bar will accommodate 230 covers and create 50 jobs. The news follows a momentous 12 months for Arc Inspirations, which will also launch a first site in Manchester for its Manahatta brand this summer, while the Banyan Bar & Kitchen it opened in Ilkley, Yorkshire, in November had “exceeded all target expectations”. Wolstencroft said: “Following the announcement we are bringing our shamelessly glamorous Manahatta brand to Manchester, it felt only natural we secured a second Banyan Bar & Kitchen. We’ve worked with contemporary designers No Chintz, which is elevating and reforming the Banyan brand to take it to the next level. We’re set for a phenomenal year of growth.” Last month, Arc Inspirations appointed a new property director and operations manager for the north west to work alongside Wolstencroft and managing director Anni Opong in orchestrating the company’s next phase of growth. The company’s turnover rose 17.5% to £22.2m in the year to 2 April 2017. It currently operates 15 sites.
London’s first dedicated prosecco bar opens: London’s first bar dedicated to prosecco has opened at the One Tower Bridge development. Kristina Issa has launched Prosecco House with 20 proseccos on the menu, including Prosecco DOCG, the premium prosecco from Veneto, where the drink originates from. Issa is working with five family-owned vineyards – Marchiori, Rivalta, Cirotto, TASI Bio and Andreola – to stock prosecco that is unavailable elsewhere in the capital. Guests are able to enjoy prosecco by the glass or bottle, alongside a small selection of prosecco cocktails. The interior features burnt-orange velvet bar stools, hand-selected Italian marble, and antique bronze tables with mirrored surfaces. The focal point of the room is a large wine fridge that spans the whole of one side. A small selection of cicchetti is also served. Issa said: “I love prosecco but could never find a glass of the same quality in London compared with Italy. I wanted to create a bar that felt luxurious but was also open to everyone. There is a gap in the market for a high-quality bar serving the finest prosecco that is not in a hotel or cocktail bar.” Prosecco House sits within Berkeley Homes’ One Tower Bridge, a development of apartments, five-star residents’ facilities, restaurants and commercial space, including The Bridge Theatre.
Just Eat removes foodservice outlets with ‘no hygiene rating’ from app: Just Eat, the online food delivery business, has removed five outlets from its app after an investigation found they were not registered for food hygiene ratings. Just Eat said it required firms to have food hygiene ratings and was making them easier to access on its products. One of the firms was supposedly based at the site of a car wash in Basildon, Essex, while another takeaway not registered for hygiene checks, which has since ceased trading, was found in nearby Braintree. Three other unnamed firms operating from Norwich, Stevenage and Welwyn Garden City were also removed from Just Eat. Restaurants and takeaways must register with local councils to receive a food hygiene rating. The details emerged after BBC Inside Out East contacted councils throughout the east of England using the Freedom of Information Act. A Just Eat spokeswoman told the BBC: “We take food safety extremely seriously and actively work to raise standards across the takeaway sector. Any restaurant wishing to partner with us must be Food Standards Agency-registered with the relevant local authority and provide evidence of this before we put them on our platform. Local authorities are then responsible for carrying out inspections to check businesses meet the requirements of food hygiene law. We positively incentivise food safety and make numerous resources available to our restaurant partners to support and improve standards in this area.”
Sunderland-based operator Pub Culture acquires fifth site: Sunderland-based operator Pub Culture has acquired its fifth site. The company has taken over the former Flynn’s bar in Newcastle Quayside with plans to turn it into a late-night jazz bar. The grade II-listed city centre building has been empty for many years. The jazz bar would open daily from 11am to 1am, with live bands performing on a mezzanine floor. Pub Culture also plans to turn two residential units on the upper floors into hotel accommodation. Newcastle-based Ainsworth Spark Associates has been enlisted to oversee design of the refurbishment, which could potentially include a pavement cafe, Chronicle Live reports. A planning statement, submitted as part of a listed building application, read: “The site is in a highly sustainable city centre location and the proposal would bring these long-standing vacant premises back into use.” Pub Culture, which is backed by businessman Paul Callaghan, also runs pubs The Dun Cow and The Peacock plus bistro bar The Engine Room, all in Sunderland, and The Dun Cow in Jesmond, Newcastle.
Humble Grape launches City wine bar for fourth London site: Humble Grape, the wine bar and shop concept founded by James Dawson, has opened a wine bar in the City of London for its fourth site in the capital. The venue in Devonshire Row offers 30 wines by the glass and a further 400 by the bottle from a larger, evolving list. The venue also features a “winemaker wall”, which reveals where the wine originates from and stories behind the vineyards, Hot Dinners reports. The food menu, created by executive head chef Kishen Raheja, features small plates that focus on ethically sourced, seasonal ingredients such as cuttlefish stew with chorizo, fennel and creme fraiche, and duck confit with clementine. There is also cheese from north London-based Wildes Cheese, while fish is delivered straight from the dayboats. The venue seats 54 people over two floors, with wine also available to take away. Humble Grape’s other sites are in Fleet Street, Battersea and Islington. Last year, the company raised almost £1.3m for expansion on crowdfunding platform Seedrs.
Swansea-based operator takes on third pub: Swansea-based operator Carol Jones has acquired her third pub. Jones has taken on the Cross Keys in St Mary’s Street, which is owned by Ei Group’s Craft Union arm. The pub, which dates to the 1300s, has been undergoing a refurbishment ahead of reopening on Friday (9 February). The venue will feature a new sound system and 15 televisions, while pool and darts will be reintroduced. Jones told Wales Online: “The ethos is to give the pub back to the community. It’s brilliant to be taking over such a historic pub and it suits our identity for wanting to take things back to basics and give people what a pub used to be.” Jones also operates the Castell Nedd Arms in Neath and the Wig And Pen in Swansea.
Healthy eating cafe Farm Girl opens Chelsea venue for third London site: Healthy eating cafe Farm Girl has opened a venue in Chelsea, south west London, for its third site in the capital. The venue in Park Walk offers the brand’s first dinner menu alongside its usual fare of health-conscious, Australian-influenced dishes and superfood smoothies and cocktails. Farm Girl’s first all-day menu features dishes such as coconut bacon BLT, smoothie bowls and oven-baked aubergines for brunch, with the evening menu featuring hearty dishes such as cod croquettes with green herb sauce, lamb gyro with roasted pistachio yogurt, and apple and pear crumble for dessert. As at Farm Girl’s Notting Hill and Soho cafes, the cocktail smoothies include drinks such as strawberry and lavender-infused vodka created with mixologist Gianfranco Spada, of the Experimental Cocktail Club. The venue’s interior features green leather, pink marble and illuminated arches to create “an otherworldly, sensory experience”, Hot Dinners reports. In September, Farm Girl opened a concession in Carnaby after teaming up with clothes chain Sweaty Betty. Farm Girl was founded in Australia and launched its first UK venue in Portobello Road in 2015. The concept was inspired by owner Rose Mann’s childhood on a farm outside Melbourne.
White Brasserie opens 17th pub, in Histon: The White Brasserie Company has opened its 17th pub – The Boot in Histon, Cambridgeshire. The site has undergone an extensive renovation to enhance original period features, including brick arches, beamed ceilings and an inglenook fireplace. The 123-cover pub also features a large new bar, and open and log-burning fires, while a green oak-beamed extension has been added to house the main restaurant. Mark Derry, chief executive of Brasserie Bar Co, the 36-strong group behind Brasserie Blanc and The White Brasserie Company, said: “The pub is full of character and we have gone to great lengths to restore many of the original features in the building as well as create an impressive new extension.” Last week, Derry told Propel turnover for its current financial year was up 20%. He said the company, which reported turnover up 14% to £46.8m for the year ending 31 June 2017, was looking to open four or five sites this year across the two brands.
Hop Stuff Brewery to open third taproom, in mid-March: Hop Stuff Brewery, which is currently embarking on a crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube, is set to open its third taproom site in mid-March. The company, founded by James Yeomans, will open the venue in Ashford, Kent, having secured the former Vinnie’s Bar And Club site in Bank Street. Hop Stuff Brewery is refurbishing the property to feature a micro-brewery alongside sourdough pizza, its own craft beer, and a small selection from other brewers, particularly from Kent. Hop Stuff Brewery, which currently operates the SE18 brewery taproom in Woolwich and SE8 in Deptford, is raising up to £800,000 on Crowdcube as it bids to grow its taproom estate from three to eight sites by the end of 2019. The campaign hit its initial £400,000 target within 48 hours of launch and Yeomans is offering a 1.57% equity stake in the business in return for the investment. So far, 717 investors have pledged £630,890. Yeomans has told Propel he expects to close the fund-raise this week.
Islington-based pizzeria Zia Lucia opens second site, in Brook Green: Islington-based pizzeria Zia Lucia has opened a second site in London, in Brook Green. The concept, which launched in Holloway Road in June 2016, offers wood-fired pizzas with 48-hour fermented dough. The new 50-cover restaurant in Blythe Road offers extra outside seating. Zia Lucia, Italian for “Auntie Lucia”, is the brainchild of Claudio Vescovo and Gianluca D’Angelo and offers four types of dough – traditional flour, vegetable charcoal black base, wholemeal and gluten-free. Unusual toppings include nduja, spianata salami, truffle honey, burrata, gorgonzola and vegan butternut squash cream. The menu also features Italian-style starters, seasonal specials, salads and desserts. The drinks menu focuses on spritzers, negronis, bottled beer from Italy and local brewers, and wine and prosecco sourced from small Italian producers. D’Angelo said: “The area embraces our ‘neighbourhood’ spirit and we hope to become the go-to destination for pizza-lovers in the West End.”
Whitbread opens Premier Inn in Middlesbrough town centre: Whitbread has opened a Premier Inn in Middlesbrough town centre. The 83-bedroom hotel has opened in Wilson Street offering king-size beds, 40-inch televisions and unlimited free breakfast for children at the Thyme restaurant. Operations manager Gemma Wood told Gazette Live: “We are looking forward to quickly establishing ourselves as a valuable and successful member of the community. We are located in Middlesbrough town centre, very close to the football ground, town hall and the local nightlife.” In August, the site that houses the hotel was acquired by property investment company LXi Reit for £6.2m. The forward purchase price reflected a net initial yield of 5.1% with the acquisition funded from the company’s Scottish Widows debt facility. Premier Inn’s lease will run for 25 years, with a one-off tenant break at the end of year 20. The rent is subject to five-yearly upward-only reviews, index-linked to the Consumer Prices Index.
Glasgow-based coffee company to open roastery, cafe and bakery: Glasgow-based coffee company Thomson’s Coffee Roasters is set to open its first roastery, cafe and bakery. The company will open the venue at the city’s Argyle Street Arches – underneath Central Station. The open plan space will include a training centre and allow customers to experience the coffee roasting process, as well as a 58-seater cafe and in-house bakery offering pizza, bread and pastries. Thomson’s Coffee Roasters managing director Russell Jenkins told Glasgow Live: “As Thomson’s embarks on its 176th year, opening our first open plan coffee roastery, cafe, bakery and training centre in Glasgow is a great milestone for the business. A Glasgow business through and through, the roastery will see us return to our roots in the city centre and we are proud to be the first business to take a space in The Argyle Street Arches.”