Lancashire law firm supports new coffee house brand

Lancashire-based Vincents Solicitors is supporting the roll out of a new chain of coffee shops across the UK. The Preston-based commercial property team is providing legal advice for Arabica Coffee, securing the properties for each outlet.

Founders, Jaafar Touili and Mohammad Alnassar, who have more than 40 years’ industry experience between them, launched the new brand in January, offering customers a superior brew and an emphasis on community. The first store opened in Crawley and the second in Petts Wood is due soon, while two more are in legals and expected open this summer. The pair have plans to open 50 stores across the country in the next three years.

Jaafar said: “I am so excited about this new venture, it’s the next big coffee house brand. The coffee market is really competitive with many big brands and independents doing similar things. To be remembered, you have to do something different. We want to create a customer loyalty that will see us become a favourite on their high street.

“We are using only the very finest coffee, which we are confident will secure a loyal following. It is sustainably sourced and every cup supports the Fairtrade Foundation, Rainforest Alliance and The Café Femenino Foundation. And we’re offering a menu featuring bagels, waffles and crepes with almost nothing over £5, we’re not taking people for a ride which I think they’ll appreciate.

“But more than that, we are creating a hub in the community, a place for people to meet and share a drink; we are also supporting local charities including those which help the homeless. People will come to know that when they buy Arabica Coffee they are giving something back.”

Focusing on the Home Counties and South East this year, Jaafar plans to roll out his concept to the regions as a franchise opportunity in the next three years, with Vincents on board as part of the franchisee advisory team. As a former Costa franchisee himself, and a veteran of numerous brands over 25 years in business – including Pizza Express, Puccinnos and Oil & Vinegar – he understands the value of a turn-key model.

“We are refining the brand and the business model this year before looking to offer franchise opportunities. I want to provide a turn-key operation for franchisees. It is better for them to follow a best-practice model and to use my tried and tested advisors who are familiar with the requirements of the brand,” said Jaafar.

“Vincents has become a valuable part of that team, dealing with one of the most important parts of setting up any business, the premises. Given their strength in this area, we have chosen to partner with Vincents. They will deal with all of the lease negotiations and legal matters which allow me to focus on operating the business,” he added.

Ross Wellman, head of Vincents commercial department, said: “The energy behind this brand is incredible, and it certainly has the potential to explode onto the national stage over the next few years. In just six months we have dealt with four instructions to agree leases for premises, and there are many more in the pipeline. It’s great to be involved with such an exciting new brand right from the outset and we’re pleased that our expertise is providing the support the business needs to succeed and grow.

“In working on the Arabica Coffee roll out, we are on the lookout for opportunities in the South East. The business is avoiding London and the high-rent city centres, as Jaafar wants to focus on the products and customer experience rather than sky-high overheads. High street locations in the heart of their communities, where there is the option to renovate, achieve A3 use and provide outside seating, over 1,000 sq ft is ideal.”