The new Cafe Local flagship store in Peterborough train station

Source: SSP

The new Cafe Local flagship store in Peterborough train station

SSP Group has launched a new travel-focused foodservice and retail store concept called Café Local, specifically tailored for UK regional rail stations.

The first 15 Café Local locations have been opened at stations including Fratton, Exeter, Reading, Dover and Sheffield, with a flagship store recently unveiled at Peterborough station. Customer reaction has been hugely positive with sales exceeding expectation, according to SSP.

A further 15 new store openings are planned over the next 12 months as part of the national roll out of the brand.

SSP said the development of its Café Local proposition reflected the unique requirements of regional railway stations, where there are often limited outlets for passengers and staff to shop.

It serves barista-style beverages and bakery items like sandwiches, paninis, toasties, cakes and bakes, as well as selling retail goods including confectionery, cold drinks, alcohol, and travel essentials. These, said the company, meet the demands of passengers travelling through the station at any time of day.

Sandwiches and Alcohol displays at Cafe Local store

Source: SSP

Selections of sandwiches, cold drinks and alcohol are displayed at a Cafe Local store

The design of the stores includes feature graphics of the local skyline, with a blue and yellow colour scheme for a modern yet simple feel. Also available are community boards, where local groups and clubs can showcase events or provide relevant information to local passengers.

“We’re delighted to upgrade our regional rail offer with the new Café Local brand, which is already proving to be a success with customers,” said SSP UK and Ireland CEO Kari Daniels. “With one-stop convenience, Café Local meets a broad spectrum of customer needs under a single roof, and we very much look forward to opening more outlets in the coming months.”

SSP Group is a travel-hub foodservice specialist with a multinational portfolio of around 550 brands and bespoke concepts including bakery-led brands Upper Crust, Ritazza, and Millie’s. Headquartered in London, it operates a total of around 2,800 units in 600 locations across 36 countries, with more than 37,000 employees.

Its 2022 annual report showed turnover of £2.2bn, up 162% compared to the previous year, with its UK division recording even better post-Covid recovery – revenue increased by 224% year-on-year to £614.9m. The group made an operating profit of £27.7m, versus a £57.4m loss in 2021.