Coffee#1 Ltd


The founders identified a need in the South Wales market place for quality, gourmet coffee that could be both drink in and take out. The Chairman, based in Seattle, had seen first hand the enormous success of the coffee house culture and, as a regular visitor to his native Welsh homeland, saw the untapped potential in the thriving towns of South Wales. The investment required to reach critical mass and generate surplus cash to self finance growth has been significant, and a steely determination and an incredibly strong belief in the business is a definite requirement. Also, the hiring and retention of responsible, committed members of staff on the limited budget available has proved challenging. Finally, repairs and maintenance costs can be high given the pounding received by a shop open 362 days a year and the resulting demand on time, energy and the wallet can be seriously draining!

Success Factor

Since the first year of trading, the UK coffee bar market has grown at a handsome rate as a daily take out latte is becoming more and more engrained in people’s daily routine. The business also identified opportunities in towns that were untouched by the larger chains, and coffee shops were opened in buoyant Welsh market towns and cities before any of the big three - Costa, Caffe Nero or Starbucks – opened their stores.

The Future

Coffee #1 will continue to open new stores within South Wales and South West England. It is also considering expansion oversees, and markets of particular interest include China, India and Eastern Europe.