Press release: Joint Venture announcement

SOHO Coffee Co. & CH&Co Group Announce Joint Venture

Artisan fresh food and coffee brand, SOHO Coffee Co., has entered into a joint venture with leading independent caterer, CH&Co Group, centred around the Apostrophe café chain.

The innovative venture involves SOHO’s dedicated management and development structure acquiring all of the current Apostrophe sites, using the support of CH&Co Group’s back of house systems and procurement services.  It will also see CH&Co Group offering the SOHO Coffee Co. brand as part of its portfolio of catering solutions for clients.

Chris Copner, Chairman, SOHO Coffee Co., explained, “We’re very excited to align ourselves with a catering brand of the quality of CH&Co Group.  This deal is the perfect opportunity for both parties to help each other grow.  It immediately gives SOHO a top quality London portfolio of 15 stores to build on and gives CH&Co Group exclusive access to a rapidly growing, and increasingly international, quality food and coffee brand that will create opportunities and leverage sales in the contract catering arena.  

“SOHO is an emerging and growing brand and we have a history of dynamically developing our stores.  Our artisan food and drink offer has struck a chord with consumers and we now have an increasing number of flagship stores elsewhere in the world too.  The emphasis is very much on future growth and we have plans to further adapt and grow the food offer in the Apostrophe branches in the coming months to meet the ever-changing needs of the chain’s customers.”

Bill Toner, CEO of CH&Co Group added, “We’ve been watching SOHO’s growth and development with interest in recent years and they are definitely a company to watch.  We’re proud to be working together on this venture.  

“The joint venture is a good cultural fit and both companies have complimentary expertise; the team at Apostrophe will gain from opportunities that the wider exposure to a quality international brand like SOHO will bring and the customer experience will be enhanced further too. 

“For CH&Co Group, the ability to offer the SOHO Coffee Co. brand as an additional service offer to appropriate clients is a great opportunity and early indications are that we will open about 10 SOHO outlets a year within contract catering environments.  Our partnership means that both companies will have a stronger portfolio, a wider footprint, and for Apostrophe, a new dedicated management team with in depth international experience of that sector – increasingly important in London, which is arguably one of the world’s most dynamic capital cities for food.”  
For further information, please contact: 
Gill Bream, Marketing Manager, SOHO Coffee Co.:

Notes for editors:
Background Information:  SOHO Coffee Co.
Artisan food and coffee chain SOHO Coffee Co. opened its first store in 1999 at the very start of the UK’s love affair with coffee culture.  With stores now across the retail, travel, leisure and healthcare sectors in the UK and internationally, the brand is fiercely independent and remains true to its core passions; crafting great, organic, Fairtrade coffee and serving flavour-packed, handmade, artisan food, with excellent customer service. 

Having rebranded and opened new store formats already this year, SOHO Coffee Co. is committed to the continued growth of the business.

Background Information: CH&Co Group
The CH&Co Group was formed in June 2015 through the merger of CH&Co and HCM (Host Catermasters) Group.  The company is a leading independent catering and hospitality group with a number of specialist businesses: Ampersand (public catering at visitor attractions, event catering & venue sales), Charlton House (catering in the workplace & higher education), Chester Boyd (livery hall & private venue catering), Host & Catermasters (catering in the workplace, healthcare and education), Lusso (corporate fine dining & hospitality), ITA* (venue booking agency), and Via 360 (reception & front of house services). 
The group employs nearly 5,000 people and operates at more than 450 locations across the UK and Ireland. 
CH&Co holds a Royal Warrant for catering services to HM The Queen. 
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