Selling a Cafe
Updated: Feb 1, 2020
Selling a vegan café in Brighton - Case Study
The Longhouse Café was sold by ETS Corporate Business brokers, after finding a Buyer within 2 months of marketing. The whole process was concluded within 5 months, with a long delay from the landlord’s representatives. Over 700 interested parties were generated through websites and the ETS Corporate buyer’s database. It was marketed for £59,995 to allow for a little negotiation, and was sold for £55,000, a result which impressed the Owner Chris immensely.
The Owner did contact other agents but came with ETS Corporate Business Brokers because he felt they were “way ahead of everyone else” He felt that we were the most expert and offered a good fee structure, with no upfront fees and inclusive of solicitors costs.
He was surprised at how smooth and stress free ETS Corporate business brokers made the journey for him, endorsing his choice of Broker.
The Longhouse Cafe is situated in the very popular area of Brighton; 2 minutes walk from The Lanes. It is close to the train station and has a high footfall of working professionals, commuters, students, tourists and general public. It lies opposite St Peter’s Church (a popular tourist attraction) and next to Brighton College, and is within the University catchment. The business is on target to reach a turnover of around £98,000 for the first years trading, with a net profit of £28,000.
The Owner started this plant based cafe on this site in March 2016, which was an offshoot of a small business called “The Vegan Viking”, delivering Organic Plant Based food around Brighton for the previous 6 months. Both have a strong social media presence and excellent reviews web wide. The existing site at York Place was previously a Coffee Shop and Cafe for 3 years, trading as The Nordic Coffee Collective. He was selling to concentrate on other business interests and travel.
The business is a plant based cafe with a focus on health and wellbeing. They specialize in breakfasts, brunches and lunches using high quality local ingredients from local suppliers, largely organic. They also provide locally roasted coffee, blended tea, smoothies, pressed juices and fermented drinks. Its mission statement is “Born in Brighton. Created by the community. Powered by Plants.”
It was operated with a full time hands on Owner along with one full time and 5-part time staff. Deliveroo are also used to provide home delivery.
It has an excellent online presence with an already strong and growing client base. The website is www.thelonghousecafe.com (presently under construction). There is also a Facebook page (1,000 followers) https://www.facebook.com/thelonghousecafe/ and Instagram (2,000+ followers) which is very popular, http://instagram.com/thelonghousecafe. It also has excellent reviews on Google, Facebook and Happy Cow (which is the largest vegan/veggie site in world) all currently 5 star and climbing. It has been nominated for Best Breakfast in Brighton and Hove Food Awards for 2017. Its main market consists of people interested in health and wellbeing, organic and fermented food, tourists as well as locals and students, fitness, and the “hung-over” crowd.
Chris’s business was very young and had been going for only 18 months- Deliveroo had only just been established. It is normally very tricky to sell a business so young, and is viewed with scepticism by the market, but because it sold products which cater for a new and growing market, it attracted lots of interest. It was active 2 days after instructions as ETS Corporate Business Brokers wanted to take advantage of the busy period in the business sales market, which subsides from the start of December and the client wanted a quick sale. The valuation, and the paperwork were all done via email and all due diligence documents were acquired in advance to speed up the process. The Owner was very organised and happy to do whatever was required to help facilitate a sale. There were lots of weekend and evening calls due to the Owner working full time in the business during the day. He engaged ETS Corporate on 26th September 2017, and the advertising was up and running after only 48 hours.
There were 4 strong interested parties, and the eventual Buyer Lianne Davenport immediately liked the business. She had made an offer for a previous business but the sale had fallen through and was committed to buying this business. An offer was made of £55,000, which was subject to finance and the Owner felt there was good synergy between the Buyer and the business. As there were other strong candidates, she paid a non refundable deposit of £5,000. We helped her prepare the documents for financing which was soon granted. The offer was accepted on the 4th November 2017 and Heads of terms were drafted by us which were signed by both parties.
ETS had already contacted the landlords agents and had the qualifying criteria for a new tenant. The agents were kept abreast of the situation to facilitate as smooth a transaction as possible, but matters were held up by the landlord and the landlord’s solicitors.
Solicitors were instructed on behalf of the owner, as this was included in the fees, who proved to be very diligent. The Owner found them “very patient” in the face of long delays from the landlord and his solicitors.
The matter was completed on 16th February 2018.
ETS Corporate sold the business for very close on the asking price and had sold it for what it was valued at. The Owner was very happy and was appreciative of all the advice and assistance, as he had never sold a business before. The Buyer was also a first time Buyer.
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