Starbuck franchise operator KBeverage has acquired fellow franchisee GK Coffee Group and its nine London stores, part of a plan to reach 100 stores by 2026.

Norwich-based KBeverage used a seven-figure funding package from HSBC UK for the deal, bringing its estate to 44 Starbucks outlets across London and the East of England.

Seattle-based Starbucks pledged £30m ($36m) to open 100 new UK stores by March 2024.

It currently operates more than 1,150 UK outlets, with around 75% franchises.

Alok Yadav, director, KBeverage, said: “Our expansion into London with nine new stores has been an important milestone in our growth plan. By broadening our reach beyond the East of England, we’ve tapped into a sizable customer base and taken a big step towards our goal of owning 100 stores by 2026.”

KBeverage was founded eight years ago. Yadav arrived from India at age 19 in 2007, starting his career at Domino’s, where he worked his way up from a cleaner who spoke no English to manager of the year within five years.

He then became the youngest franchisee to open a Pizza Hut, which he launched with his wife Rachael.

Three years later, the couple became the youngest franchisees to open a Starbucks when they launched their first store in Newmarket in 2015 at ages 27 and 26.

Nearly 20% of KBeverage’s London revenue comes via delivery through Uber Eats.

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