Small Batch Coffee, the specialty coffee shop operator and roaster backed by Stefan Allesch-Taylor, has closed three sites.

One of the original specialty coffee shop groups in Brighton & Hove, the local-founded chain now has just two sites remaining, in Goldstone Villas, near Hove station, and its Wellington House café and roastery in Camden Street, Portslade.

Sites in Seven Dials, Norfolk Square and Wilbury Road have closed.

The pioneering brand has faced increased competition from the likes of Flour Pot Bakery, which now has 10 sites in the region, Trading Post Coffee which has three, and Wolfox, which has a number of outlets under various sub-brands.

According to The Argus, Small Batch Coffee Company Ltd faced a winding-up order from creditors Pemberton’s Letting Agents Brighton for arrears of £11,250.88.

Small Batch was previously owned by Luke Johnson’s Risk Capital Partners, before being bought by Allesch-Taylor Coffeesmiths Collective in 2019.

Coffeesmiths acquired numerous brands in 2019 including Tap Coffee, Bea’s of London, Filmore & Union, Taylor St Baristas, Baker & Spice, Nordic Bakery and Urban Tea Rooms, as well a string of single site independents.

It planned to bring “light touch economies of scale” to the coffee shops, while preserving the “strong individual identities” of sites regarded as “local institutions”.

The group entered liquidation in July 2020, although Small Batch was not affected, with Allesch-Taylor listed as having majority control of the business on Companies House.

Small Batch recently appointed Colin Morrison as managing director as it looks to focus on growing wholesale operations and online coffee subscribers.