Evening plans for Beanscene founder
GORDON Richardson, the founder of coffee bar chain Beanscene, says he will press ahead with plans to develop the firm into an "evening destination experience" if he is successful in buying the company back.
Speaking from the south of France where he is on holiday, Richardson, who left the firm in March amid a boardroom bust-up, said his phone had been "white hot" all week and that he is close to securing funding to launch a bid for the chain.
Administrators were brought in to run the Glasgow-based company last Monday after a restructuring plan designed to cut costs failed. Sales particulars will be distributed to interested parties tomorrow and a closing date for offers will be set this week.
It is understood the administrator, KPMG, has received 48 notes of interest.
Before Richardson left the company, which has 14 outlets, he was planning a new emphasis on casual evening dining and evolving the brand into a "broader-based lifestyle business".
Yesterday he said: "In March we were in mid-process of licensing the stores and the whole development of Beanscene was more about the evening experience. When we came into the market place in the early Nineties there was a coffee boom and we wanted to make sure we competed strongly in that category but my background was bars and restaurants. Focusing on the all round evening concept was a big part of the future of the chain.
"The first thing I have to do is to get my head around what has happened in the last four months and look at the performance of the business.
"My phone has been white hot all week so the opportunities are opening up by the day, whether that be through banking, a joint venture or more traditional routes to funding. But my belief in the potential and future of Beanscene is bullet-proof.
"People talk about recession and the end of the coffee boom and Starbucks in retreat, but Beanscene was always more than just coffee."
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