Buyout secures bright future for coffee pioneers

The senior team at Paddy & Scott’s Coffee has successfully completed a management buy-out (MBO) of the Suffolk-based wholesaler, e-commerce retailer and café operator.

Published in UK Director Magazines Spring 24
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Business News: Paddy & Scott’s Coffee

Spearheading the management buyout, CEO Jonathan Reed and Operations Director Zoe Hill secured ‘significant’ funding to acquire Paddy & Scotts and say that it will greatly benefit from new energy.

Mr Reed said: “Since 2020, we have transformed the company and are immensely proud of the progress we’ve made. When the opportunity arose to acquire the business and safeguard our future commitments to coffee farmers and their families, it was something we just had to look at.”

Handing Over the Reins

The MBO follows a record-breaking performance in 2023 and will see the remaining co-founder Scott Russell departing the business, with fellow founder Paddy Bishopp having left in 2016.

Upon leaving, Mr Russell said that despite multiple approaches, he was pleased Paddy & Scott’s would continue to be independently owned and able to focus on empowering coffee farmers and the wider community.

“I’m extremely proud of what we have achieved and, after 17 years, it’s a proud moment to hand the keys over to the management team. Paddy & Scott’s is in great hands, and I wish them all well for the future. I know that they have big plans, and I’m excited to watch Jon and Zoe take the business forward in new directions,” he added.

The move marks a new era for the pioneering British coffee company which produces over 50,000 cups of coffee per day and operates its own fuelling station and branded concessions.

Empowering Farmers

Established in 2007, the business reported a remarkable 28% year-on-year growth and significant progress in delivering positive social impact in coffee-growing regions around the world.

Zoe Hill commented: “It’s a moment of pride to have joined the company ten years ago and now to call myself proud custodian and owner. Over the years, we have built a team of incredible people and look forward to empowering more coffee farmers, providing more school meals and ambition to children in coffee growing regions.”

The company believes that the most effective way to support coffee-growing families and the wider community is to engage directly with the source and pay higher prices for the raw product. To achieve this, Paddy & Scott’s embarked on a mission to bypass middlemen and establish direct relationships with coffee farms.

In 2017, it initiated the Muchomba Farm and Rugia School project. Situated beneath the eastern slope of Mount Kenya, the farm is a collaborative effort with George Muchomba and his eldest son Isaac. Since the project’s inception, they have installed processing equipment, drying tables, and a new irrigation system. Additionally, an educational model farm with shared facilities has been established for use by local communities reliant on coffee for their livelihoods.

Ultimately, the company’s goal is to empower farmers and revolutionise the relationship between consumers and those who supply their coffee.

Now, moving forward under new ownership, the business eagerly anticipates a bright and secure future.

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