Property partnership provides perfect filter as coffee chain prepares to open 16th venue

Independent coffee roaster, 200 Degrees, has spent the last seven years opening outlets dedicated to helping people, in its own words, “drink better coffee”.

Its 16th venue in South Yorkshire is due to be announced imminently and a third Nottingham shop is set to open in May, with several more sites in advanced discussions with a view to opening later in the year.

High quality food and drink, excellent service, a strong brand identity and a distinct customer experience at both its coffee shops and online have been the cornerstone of 200 Degrees’ continued success. Another key element has been its venue and location selection.

Box Property co-founder and director, Ben Tebbutt has worked with the 200 Degrees team from the beginning. He has helped source venues and acquire properties with the leadership team, to match the ambitions and goals of the business.

Rob Darby, CEO and co-founder of 200 Degrees, said: “We’ve worked with Ben since we started out and built a great relationship. The Box Property team works closely with our Board, they really understand our strategic objectives and can advise us on property related decisions. Because they understand the fundamentals of our business and the needs of our customers, they source the right opportunities for us and filter out the ones which don’t fit the end goal, without us wasting time on things that just won’t work.”

“When we were smaller and relatively unknown, we were a lower quality covenant. Property owners needed convincing that we were a good investment. When we acquired the site in central Birmingham, Ben was influential in convincing the landlord at Colmore Row that we were the right choice. He helped them to understand that we were a brand that could be trusted and would perform. Without that, we would have struggled to get higher quality sites, so that was a pivotal time for 200 Degrees in our strategic growth.”

Since then, the tables have turned and now landlords are coming to 200 Degrees, as a successful, sought-after brand. In 2017, after external investment of £3m the company set its sights on nationwide expansion and a move into retail outlets, as well as city centre High Street locations.

Darby added: “With city centres shifting and contracting, it is difficult to predict where the key areas of footfall will be once everything has settled down again. Our focus recently has been on out-of-town retail locations and have opened three outlets with the McArthur Glen Group. We’re looking at additional designer outlets that are being planned and have agreed terms with one in construction and are currently in active negotiations with another.”

“They key thing in finding the ideal location for us is dwell time and volume of customers. We don’t just want to be a breakfast coffee stop or lunch venue, we want to attract customers all throughout the day for whatever they need. We don’t have a customer “type”, just good people, who like great coffee, in a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere.”

 The 200 Degrees business was set up by Rob Darby and business partner Tom Vincent in 2012 and now has 15 “distinctively independent” coffee shops nationwide and a Roast House near Trent Bridge in Nottingham. It is also thriving online, has a wholesale arm and offer Barista training through its six schools around the UK.

Ben Tebbutt, co-founder and director of Box Property, said: “It has been fantastic working with Rob and the team to help them source new venues nationwide. Having followed their journey from the beginning, we really understand their requirements, which helps them to find appropriate opportunities.”

“We’re excited about what the future holds for 200 Degrees and being part of the next phase of their growth. With the aspiration to grow the business to 30 venues in the next few years, watch out for more announcements coming soon.”

Darby added:  “It is a cautious time at the moment and important not to make mistakes with property. Having Box Property on board with market insight and commercial property knowledge is invaluable to our decision-making process.”

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