The Harris + Hoole (H+H) founding trio are stepping back from the Tesco-backed coffee chain.

Siblings Andrew, Nick and Laura Tolley, who set up the business in partnership with Tesco three years ago, will maintain their 51% stake in H+H “at this point in time”, said a spokeswoman, but no longer be involved in its management.

The Tolleys will now focus on their Taylor Street Baristas coffee chain, which is set to open its first overseas outlet in New York later this year, after it raised £1.9m via crowdfunding site CrowdCube.

This fuels further speculation that Tesco could be selling off its 49% stake in the business.

Nick Tolley told M&C Report, British Baker’s sister title: “I’m incredibly proud of what Harris + Hoole has achieved in just three years, from a standing start to 46 stores and a team of more than 500 fantastic people whom I’ve hugely enjoyed working with.

“At the same time that Harris + Hoole has been growing, Taylor Street Baristas, the first coffee business I founded with my brother and sister, has also been going from strength to strength.

“Amongst other things, we’ll be opening the first Taylor Street Baristas store in New York later this year, so it feels like the right time for me and my siblings to return to focusing on Taylor Street Baristas, leaving the excellent Harris + Hoole management team in charge.

“Our partnership with Tesco has enabled Harris + Hoole to develop a fantastic proposition for the high street and I’m very proud of where we leave the business today.

“The coffee expertise brought by my brother and others from Taylor Street Baristas has been embedded into Harris + Hoole. World-class barista training and coffee made using the best seasonal beans and equipment is very much part of Harris + Hoole’s DNA - and I’ll certainly still be stopping by for a coffee.”