The Scottish coffee-house chain Beanscene, which went into administration earlier this year, has been bought. It is now in the hands of two ‘lifestyle entrepreneurs' from Scotland, and it appears that 130 jobs are to be saved.
The buyers are Fifi and Ally, the company name of Fiona Hamilton and Alison Fielding, whose success so far has been as a wine, restaurant and delicatessen business. They have only two branches, both in the centre of Glasgow, and it appears that they will work on turning Beanscene into a more food-themed business. Some of the 16 Beanscene branches will keep their name, and some will become a Fifi and Ally express-food concept.
The combination, the buyers have said, amounts to ‘Sex in the City meets bohemia'. "You might get customers kicking back in Beanscene on a Saturday morning in their jeans, and the same people in their business clothes visiting Fifi and Ally during the week," said one of the partners.
The acquisition will treble Fifi and Ally's turnover to around £6 million, and make a combined staffing of about 200.
It is known that of the reported 150 interested would-be buyers, several were small café chains south of the border.
By Ian Boughton