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BEAR Unveils New Café Bar Concept

BEAR opened its new artisan coffee store in Derby, UK, in the heart of the city’s Cathedral Quarter. Encapsulating a new café-bar concept in the Midlands, the 4,500 sq-ft store has created 30 new jobs for the area.

Founded in 2014 by entrepreneurs Craig Bunting and Michael Thorley, BEAR identified a gap in the food and beverage sector, combining specialty coffee along with fresh seasonal food during the day, and then offering cocktails, craft beers, wines, and informal dining during the evening.

The opening of the brand’s Derby store follows the success of its maiden store in Uttoxeter, which opened in January 2016. Building on this momentum BEAR has also expanded its senior management team to include Chris Price, a former finance director, as an investor and director. Price will play an instrumental role in driving BEAR’s future growth strategy, utilising his vast sector experience.

“We’re hugely excited to open our new store in Derby; the city where Michael and I shopped and skateboarded as kids,” Craig Bunting, says co-founder of BEAR. “Our vision for BEAR is to combine high quality coffee served by skilled, passionate staff during the day with an alternative bar experience in the evenings. With any new start-up there are numerous challenges to traverse and sourcing investment is a huge one.”

“At BEAR, coffee is our world and we use it as a benchmark for everything we do. All of our coffees are single origin, and carefully selected from sustainable sources to ensure that every cup we serve meets our standards,” says BEAR’s head of coffee. “We offer three roasts: house, guest and decaf. We select our house coffee for its versatility with and without milk, ensuring that it’s agreeable to all. Our guest roast is chosen to give our customers a chance to try something different, offering a more challenging flavour profile. We change our guest roast more regularly than the house, especially if some exciting beans have arrived at the roastery.”

She notes that all coffees are offered in espresso form, adding textured (dairy or non-dairy) milk to create their 6 oz flat whites. “The largest cup option we serve is a modest 10 oz, to ensure that our delicious coffee isn’t lost within the milk. As well as our espresso-based drinks, we also offer our coffees on the Brew Bar in the form of an Aeropress or Chemex to really highlight and distinguish the flavours in each cup.”

BEAR uses a reconditioned Marzocco machine in the Uttoxeter store, and in the new Derby concept, they have a Sanremo Café Racer. BEAR also offers seven different Brew Tea Co teas, which are available as loose leaf or teabag, as well as a full range of freshly made smoothies and milkshakes.

BEAR is working to expand first throughout the Midlands, and then beyond, with hopes to open to 30 stores nationwide over the next five years.

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