Grind, the trendy London chain of coffee shops started by a DJ and a tech entrepreneur, has just launched a crowdfunding campaign to try and raise £1.5 million ($US2.34 million).
Independent coffee chain Grind, which has four branches across London, is hoping loyal customers will buy its bond on website Crowdcube, which gives investors 8% interest in return for lending their cash to the business.
Co-founder and CEO David Abrahamovitch told Business Insider: “I love disruption. Rather than just borrow from the banks I love the idea that people can put their money into something they really care about.”
The four year old chain epitomises London’s current cultural renaissance, combining technology, music, start-up culture and artisan produce.
Abrahamovitch was working at a technology start-up when he decided to set up the first Grind on Old Street Roundabout — now the heart of London’s so-called Tech City — with his friend Kaz James, a DJ from group Bodyrockers. It was a side project for the pair for two years before Abrahamovitch went full time.
As well as offering hip, artisan coffee, Abrahamovitch and James opened a recording studio above the shop at its Shoreditch Grind site. The studio has been used by artists like Sam Smith, Idris Elba and Tinnie Tempah. It’s all painfully cool and Abrahamovitch says the company aims to be “young, Shoreditch and fun.”
But Grind has struck a chord with coffe lovers as we hispters. Abrahamovitch told Business Insider he believes Grind’s custom blend is the best coffee in London and the flat white I had at Shoreditch Grind with him last week was definitely a great coffee.
Abrahamovitch plans to put the money the company hopes to raise towards opening its own coffee roasting facility in East London near its original site in Shoreditch, which will allow it to sell its coffee wholesale.
Abrahamovitch also wants to open new Grind sites across London in trendy areas like Brixton, Peckham, Dalston, London Fields, Vauxhall and Islington.
It currently has branches in Shoreditch, Holborn, Soho and London Bridge, with a Covent Garden site opening in the summer.
Grind made £2.4 million ($US3.74 million) in sales last year and is forecasting sales of £4.4 million ($US6.85 million) this year. Its Shoreditch branch made £1 million ($US1.56 million) in 2014 alone, selling around 800 coffees a day.
As well as great coffee, Grind’s branches sells cocktails in the evening and also offers food at its new London Bridge site. Abrahamovitch says he wants Grind to me “a lot more than a coffee brand.”
He and James are considering taking the chain abroad, possibly to LA, saying: “It’s about taking it to places we want to spend time. We did this from the start a little bit for us. We only set up sites in places we go to.”
He added: “I’m not interested in putting these into glass boxes is shopping centres. I don’t want a faceless chain of 50 sites, that’s not what the brand is, that’s not what we are.”
He says he is looking to private members club Soho House for inspiration, saying: “Soho House have done a fantastic job of becoming a global brand while staying true to themselves. What they do is a very different thing but what they do is excel at whatever they do. We want to do that too.”