Major expansion plans for Ground across UK & Ireland
Northern Ireland’s largest independently-owned, scaled artisan coffee chain Ground Espresso Bars has announced a multimillion pound expansion plan which includes new stores in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Scotland.
Ground has undergone significant growth in recent years across Northern Ireland and opened its first store in the Republic of Ireland in 2015. This next stage in the company’s aggressive expansion plans will see three new stores open in the coming weeks in Northern Ireland, representing an investment of over £400,000 and creating over 40 new full and part time jobs in local communities. These new stand-alone sites include the old Pump House in Portadown, part of a £400k regeneration scheme on the River Bann, Laganbank Retail Park, Lisburn, and Northern Irelands premier shopping complex, Victoria Square, Belfast. The new stores will position a Ground in every county in Northern Ireland and bring the company’s total number of coffee shops to 23.
Further expansion will continue next year with two new stores in the pipeline for Dublin, an exciting new store in Newry and four stores already confirmed in Scotland, all of which will be in partnership with Next plc, who Ground has been working with since 2014. These new locations will see the company’s concessions with Next stores double in 2018. A further four stand-alone Ground Espresso Bars are also planned for Scotland along with several new locations in Northern Ireland.
Commenting on the expansion Operations Director Karen Gardiner said, “This is a really exciting time for Ground as we embark on our second major expansion within three years. We are looking forward to opening more stores locally and in the Republic of Ireland, and are thrilled to be launching our brand in Scotland with both stand-alone stores and concession stores within Next plc. Our partnership with Next plc has gone from strength to strength over the last two years and we look forward to continued success and to expanding the Ground team further throughout the UK and Ireland.”
Ground currently employs over 250 staff across 20 stand-alone stores and concessions in Ireland and is renowned for its quality coffee, its ethically conscious principles and its locally-sourced produce, all of which owners Karen and Darren Gardiner attribute to the brand’s ongoing success.
“We made a commitment when we opened our first store 16 years ago to provide the Northern Ireland public with high quality coffee and fresh homemade produce, and this has been testament to our success and in helping us build a loyal customer base. We are grateful for the positive reception and support we receive from all the local communities we serve and will continue to provide an authentic customer experience and great coffee as we continue to develop our store network.” Added Co-Founder, Darren Gardiner.
All of the new Ground Espresso Bars will feature Ground’s trendy industrial finish, state-of-the-art Brew Bar which includes the Marco SP9 Brew Stations, and bespoke custom-made espresso machines from Synesso in Seattle. Customers can also benefit from bench top charging points in addition to children’s play areas which will feature in a number of the new stores.