A coffee shop for connoisseurs has opened its doors in Stockport, thanks to a £35k loan from Business Finance Solutions(BFS), the North West delivery partner of the government’s national £310m Start Up Loans programme and a lending partner of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.
Co-owned by Tom Ward and Aneta Dorobek, Hatters Coffee Company on Bridge Street will create 11 full and part time jobs including managers, baristas and bakers. Hatters will serve a selection of premium coffees, teas, cakes and handmade sandwiches and will offer 52 covers from early morning service to early evening and weekend opening hours.
Tom and Aneta have used their Start Up Loan from BFS to completely refurbish the café using reclaimed materials, natural lighting and simple furniture to create a relaxed and comfortable ambience. The new design also pays homage to Stockport’s once thriving hatting industry and the town’s award winning Hat Works museum, with millinery artefacts and hats playing a key part in the décor.
Future plans for the business include developing a Hatters app to enable customers to place orders and earn loyalty rewards; developing the programme of local musicians and bands playing at the venue and to host a number of community focussed and family events that will continue to build the Hatters brand and reach.
Co-owner Tom said: “The decision to open a business was not one I consciously remember making but more something that I always knew was going to be my future. From washing cars when I was in primary school to selling bike parts, I’ve always wanted to be my own boss and securing this Start Up Loan from BFS has meant that Aneta and I can now bring the café vibe that we both love to Stockport.”
Roger Seddon, Head of Lending at BFS which is part of the The Growth Company, said: “Hatters is joining the growing number of independent venues spearheading Stockport’s renaissance as a great place to eat out. We’re proud to have supported Tom and Aneta in their new venue and, judging by the 100% five star reviews they are already receiving on Facebook, it seems that they are already setting new standards for the town’s café culture.”
BFS will see £15 million allocated to new start-ups across the North West over a two-year period, creating around 3,000 new businesses and over 5,000 new jobs in the region. BFS is the finance arm of The Growth Company and supported by the GM Combined Authority and Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership. BFS is a key alternative source of funding for businesses in Greater Manchester and has grown a comprehensive range of finance products from £500 through to £500k, with support on raising early stage equity through the Co Angel Investment Service of up to £2m. BFS currently manages over £100m of publically-backed small business investments across the UK.