Cheltenham born coffee shop brand flies into Bristol Airport

Bristol airport

SOHO Coffee Co, the ambitious artisan coffee shop chain, launched in Cheltenham in 1999 by Superdry founder Julian Dunkerton, has opened up a new cafe at Bristol Airport, marking further expansion into the travel sector.

This is its first company store in an airport location, building on a portfolio of successful franchise partners in key airport hubs around the world.

With outlets across the UK and internationally, SOHO offers only 100 per cent organic, fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance Certified™ coffee.

SOHO Coffee Co. Managing Director, Penny Manuel, said: “We have long had in our plan, our aim to open our very own SOHO airport store in our heartland. A regular traveller through Bristol airport, I have observed with interest their intensive programme of investment and improvement during recent times, and wanted SOHO to be part of that journey. We are especially pleased to be working hand in hand with the airport whose values mirror ours, with sustainability and community high on both our agendas.

“We have a highly energetic, opinionated and committed team who are rightly proud of the brand they have created. Constantly innovating and driving forward, their goal is to make SOHO a way of life for as many people as possible through offering carefully crafted and original food and drink, delivered with shiny service.

Tom Hack, Head of Commercial at Bristol Airport said:“Bristol Airport is delighted to welcome back SOHO Coffee to our departure lounge from Thursday 1st October. We welcome such a recognisable regional brand which supports local supply chains and offering employment to the region at such an important time.”

When lockdown happened in March, SOHO Coffee Co closed immediately. “We considered doing home delivery but at that stage we didn’t want to take any risks with the health of our staff, so we shut up shop entirely,” said Penny.

“But at some point you have to wake the business up, so we took small, careful steps.”

The company installed Perspex screens at till points, takes the temperature of its staff before they begin work, provided markers to help distancing and restricted payment to card only.

SOHO Coffee Co has sites in large shopping centres as well as on high streets, and is dealing with huge retail landlords as well as private ones.

The company, bought by investment company BTC UK in 2016, which in turn is owned by Qatar-based BTC WLL, has around 25 directly owned shops across the UK, including 13 in London, and a franchise business with branded stores in the UK, across continental Europe and the Middle East.