Award-winning coffee brand BEAR sets eyes on national expansion with latest funding round


BEAR, the award-winning independent coffee and lifestyle brand here at Barons Quay, has launched its first-ever crowdfunding campaign, targeting £2 million to support further growth in the Midlands and national expansion. Originating from the Midlands, BEAR serves sustainably sourced speciality coffee, seasonal fresh food, cocktails, and craft beer in beautifully thought-out spaces.
Since opening its first store in 2016, BEAR has expanded to operate from seven locations across the Midlands and Cheshire—Uttoxeter, Derby, Stone, Derbion, Northwich, Ashbourne, and Nottingham—and sold over one million coffees. BEAR aims to more than quadruple its footprint across the UK and plans to open 22 new stores over the next five years.
In 2020, BEAR launched its online store and at-home coffee subscriptions, which have grown organically as we have opened more stores in new neighbourhoods. This ongoing innovation and people-first approach has resulted in 39% revenue growth for the year ended 31 March 2024 compared to the same period the year before. With strong foundations and focus, BEAR has positioned itself as a brand ready for well-planned growth.

Founded by lifelong friends Craig Bunting and Michael Thorley, BEAR began as a business inspired by Craig’s travels in Australia and Michael’s adventurous Royal Marines background. What started in a shed with a supermarket espresso machine has grown into a thriving brand, creating more than 130 jobs locally.
Investors in the campaign will receive a range of rewards, from free coffee and brunch to exclusive discounts and even lifetime subscriptions to BEAR’s at-home coffee range. This is their way of saying thank you for believing in the brand and supporting their journey.

Craig Bunting, Co-Founder of BEAR, expressed his excitement about the campaign:
“Since opening the doors of our first store in 2016, BEAR has become more than just a place to grab a coffee; it’s a community hub where like-minded individuals come together to enjoy great coffee, delicious food, and a welcoming atmosphere. Our brand ethos is built on adventure, connection, and lifestyle, creating spaces that encourage people to connect and share experiences. That’s why, over the past eight years, we have cultivated a fiercely loyal and engaged audience, expanded our online presence, and continuously evolved the brand to meet the needs of the communities that are local to our stores.
“This crowdfunding campaign offers loyal guests, dedicated team members, and coffee enthusiasts across the UK and Europe a unique opportunity to own a part of BEAR and share in its future success.”

Pack your bags; your coffee adventure starts here.

BEAR’s success has always been driven by the support of the community. Whether you’ve enjoyed a flat white in a BEAR store, connected with them online, or even if you’re completely new to the brand but feel engaged with their story, BEAR are inviting you to join them on this new adventure. Their ambition is to continue to create spaces that inspire adventure, connection, and a sense of belonging.

In 2022, BEAR raised investment from family coffee company Clark Group, who are well known for investing in brands including Bremont, Monica Vinader, and Vivobarefoot. BEAR has a winning team backed by experts passionate about growing great brands with shared values.

For more information about BEAR’s crowdfunding campaign and how you can get involved, visit