Bear has launched a crowdfunding campaign to fund future growth. 

The independent coffee and lifestyle brand is targeting £2 million to support its national expansion. 

Since opening its first store in 2016, BEAR has expanded to operate from seven locations across the Midlands and Cheshire—Uttoxeter, Derby, Stone, Derbion, Northwich, Ashbourne, and Nottingham—and sold over one million coffees.

The business aims to more than quadruple its footprint across the UK and plans to open 22 new stores over the next five years.

Founded by lifelong friends Craig Bunting and Michael Thorley, BEAR began as a business inspired by Craig’s travels in Australia and Michael’s adventurous Royal Marines background.

Investors in the campaign will receive a range of rewards, from free coffee and brunch to exclusive discounts and lifetime subscriptions to BEAR’s at-home coffee range. 

Bunting commented,  “Since opening the doors of our first store in 2016, BEAR has become more than just a place to grab a coffee; it’s a community hub where like-minded individuals come together to enjoy great coffee, delicious food, and a welcoming atmosphere. Our brand ethos is built on adventure, connection, and lifestyle, creating spaces that encourage people to connect and share experiences.

“That’s why, over the past eight years, we have cultivated a fiercely loyal and engaged audience, expanded our online presence, and continuously evolved the brand to meet the needs of the communities that are local to our stores.

“This crowdfunding campaign offers loyal guests, dedicated team members, and coffee enthusiasts across the UK and Europe a unique opportunity to own a part of BEAR and share in its future success.”

The business said it had received investment requests from its community for years, and alongside its HNW and institutional investors, would now be offering this opportunity to bring it closer to the business by owning shares.

Shares in this round will be issued at the same price and same terms aslead investor Clark Group and angel investor Chris Price (BEAR’s Founding Investor). Clark Group have invested in brands such as Vivobarefoot, Monica Vinader & Thrudark.