Bewiched Coffee plans to open 15 stores within five years in partnership with newly announced franchise partner Heart of England Co-operative Society, MD Matt Fountain tells MCA.

The café chain, which has 14 company-owned stores and 1 franchised store across the Midlands, anticipates doubling its estate over the next three years to operate 30-40 sites by the end of 2026. It will continue expanding in its Midlands base.

The business has seen a 35% rise in revenue year-on-year, according to Fountain. It looks to open three or four stores within the year.

He describes the offer as a focus on specialty coffee and an “accessible, family-friendly” menu comprising toasted sandwiches and other snacks.

“Heart of England has the logistics and infrastructure to franchise effectively,” Fountain says. “We’re also looking at other franchise partners with similar values to us.

“The coffee sector has proven really resilient. We’re seeing unprecedented sales growth across all stores.”

The estate comprises retail parks, town centres, and a drive-thru location. While one travel hub site is yet to recover to pre-pandemic levels, other locations have seen strong trading.

“We’re keen to get more into the drive-thru market, and also retail parks and other high footfall locations,” Fountain adds. “We’re less inclined to travel hubs.”

While the chain has seen some decline in frequent, average spend has risen about 10%.