Paddy & Scott's bought out by management team

25 January 2024 by
Paddy & Scott's bought out by management team

Coffee wholesaler and café operator Paddy & Scott's Coffee has been acquired by its own management team, spearheaded by CEO Jonathan Reed and operations director Zoe Hill.

The management buyout of the Suffolk-based firm, for an undisclosed amount, sees the remaining co-founder Scott Russell departing the business, following the exit of fellow founder Paddy Bishopp in 2016.

Established in 2007, Paddy & Scott's has reported 28% year-on-year growth and is progressing in delivering positive social impact in coffee-growing regions around the world.

Reed and Hill secured "significant" funding to complete the transaction, with Reed telling The Caterer: "Any business that's experiencing good times is often the subject of interest from other parties and that's what's happened to us in the past 12 months.

"A few organisations wanted to acquire Paddy & Scott's including a global PLC but we came to the conclusion that the company is best in the hands of people who know it."

Both new owners are stalwarts of the firm, with Hill spending the last 10 years working her way up from starting as a customer service assistant, while Reed joined six years ago as brand director before becoming managing director and most recently CEO.

Departing co-founder Russell underlined: "I really can't see Paddy & Scott's future in the hands of a corporate organisation. Paddy & Scott's is a Suffolk business, focused on empowering coffee farmers and the wider community. I'm delighted the company will continue to be independently owned and operated by the management team."

Hill added: "We feel it is the perfect time to embark on the next chapter of our journey. Over the years, we have built a team of incredible people and look forward to empowering more coffee farmers, providing more school meals and ambition to children in coffee growing regions."

One of the firm's aims is to fund one million school meals in coffee growing regions, with Reed reporting that the figure is already at nearly 100,000. Paddy & Scott's owns a coffee farm in Kenya and is concentrating on offering a coffee training scholarship to pupils at nearby schools.

In the UK, the business is planning a project to grow coffee using vertical farming, though Reed emphasised: "The last thing we want to do is rip industry away from emerging countries, but we are trying to balance the needs of the planet with the needs of coffee farmers around the world."

He further revealed that the company intends to open more coffee shops, adding to its existing estate of three sites in East Anglia, with the latest launch in Lichfield taking place at the end of 2023.

Pictured, l-r: Paddy & Scott's Scott Russell, Zoe Hill and Jon Reed.

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