Family-owned South London-based café and bakery firm Coughlans is seeking investment to help drive the development of the business.

Coughlans, which was founded in 1937, comprises 22 retail outlets – with two more under development – and more than 29,000 sq ft of freehold industrial space. The business has tapped growing trends, with the development of vegan products, a focus on coffee and building a social media presence.

Sean Coughlan, who currently runs the family-owned firm, will remain with the business following the investment. Two of his fellow directors and siblings will leave their roles, enabling the new investor to build their own support team.

“We are in an unprecedented position compared to most bakers as we started our plant-based journey over two years ago,” said Sean Coughlan. “I saw a niche for vegan artisan products, but was told that making tasty vegan food was impossible and was driven to prove those people wrong.”

He added that now was the right time to seek investment, so the business could grow while developing more plant-based products.

“We have a fantastic team in place who, along with me, love our trade, our family values and engaging with our customers. We’re all very excited about the growth plans and future of Coughlans and look forward to welcoming a new investor to our team.”

Property agents Christie & Co, which is marketing the business, said Coughlans had been largely immune to high street pressures such as rising rates and rent by being “well-situated in carefully selected secondary retail locations”.

It added there was an opportunity to scale the business as the current food production facility was operating at 55% of maximum capacity, and that new sites  were readily available.

“Like-for-like revenue growth for 2019 is in double-digit territory, with the phenomenal performance of recent site openings the icing on the cake,” said Christie & Co senior business agent Tom Glanvill.

“We expect to see interest from a range of investors from within the sector, as well as further afield.”

Subscribers to British Baker can read about the history of the business in our Born & Bread feature.