Northern Irish coffee shop chain Guilt Trip is planning to expand.
As reported by The Irish News, Guilt Trip's first coffee shop opened in 2017 on Orangefield Lane in Belfast, and since March of last year, it has opened one outlet in Holywood, Co. Down, one outlet in Portstewart, Co. Derry, and two outlets in Worcester in the UK.
Guilt Trip was founded by former Ulster rugby players Darren Cave and Callum Black, and former general manager of Belfast's Merchant Hotel and Co. Kildare's Carton House Adrian McLaughlin has also bought into the business, and has stated that the chain is planning to "press the accelerator" on further expansion.
Plans And Discussions
The Irish News quotes McLaughlin as saying, "We have a Guilt Trip truck being readied for March at Boucher Road [in Belfast], and are currently discussing bringing in an investment partner in London which will allow us to accelerate plans for four more new stores in Northern Ireland this year.
"And we also have discussions ongoing to open in London, Bath, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Bristol, and an overall plan to get to 30 stores before we exit the business.
"Already we've gone from a staff of eight in March last year to 44 today, and that number will at least double.
"I'm very conscious of the times we're in, and some may feel it inappropriate us talking up the business when others in this sector are on their knees.
"But ours is a unique little business, with a number of quality touch-points around our coffee and donuts offering, and while any expansion plan at this point may seem daunting, for us it's doable."
"It's Not Just A Coffee Shop, It's A Brand"
Meanwhile, Cave stated, "Guilt Trip is somewhere you come to even if you don't live local. It's not just a coffee shop, it's a brand. We're doing the merchandise like mugs and t-shirts, as we really want to show people it's an experience and buy-in.
"The idea is fairly simple - we're trying to serve up the best coffee and best donuts in Belfast. And to be different, we are a multi roaster coffee shop, so we continually rotate what we have on bar, so you're guaranteed an outstanding coffee experience."
© 2021 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.