A County Durham-based flavoured coffee company has completed a major deal with Sainsbury's that will see its brand being stocked in 559 supermarkets nationwide.
Beanies The Flavour Co., which is based at Newton Aycliffe, sealed the contract following an investment from the Finance for Business North East Angel Fund, managed by Rivers Capital Partners.
It is the company’s first supermarket listing and will likely see a significant surge of interest in the brand.
The move follows work with branding agency Robot Food to create a new range of flavoured coffee customers would not find anywhere else.
Both its instant and ground coffee selections include Irish Cream, Cinder Toffee and Very Vanilla, while the instant coffee also comes in Amaretto Almond.
And while Beanies will be selling the flavours through its own website, Sainsbury’s will otherwise have 12 months exclusivity.
Beanies managing director John Evans said: “This huge commitment from a perfect retail partner will encourage our growth and we’re investing a great deal into new flavours, technology and developing new product ranges over the next 12 months.”
The idea for Beanies first arose five years ago when company director Mark Porteous began experimenting with adding flavour to his coffee in his garage. The company was established in 2009 with the vision of doing something completely different to other flavoured coffee firms.
While traditionally, syrups and coatings are used, Beanies rejects such methods and directly infuses the flavours into the coffee itself, creating a more natural taste that preserves the full flavour of the coffee beans.
The coffee has less than two calories per serving and no chemicals are used by the company in the infusion process. On top of new deal with Sainsbury’s, Beanies has been supplying traders as far afield as South Africa and Denmark.
The North East firm is also making big waves in the online coffee world with a website offering 30 flavours, from Christmas Pudding to Orange Brandy to Tiramisu.
Natalia Blagburn, who headed the investment on behalf of Rivers Capital, praised the Beanies team.
“The people behind Beanies epitomise exactly what we look for in a company,” she said.
“Not only do they have a fantastic product, but they have the drive and passion to take it to the world – proven by their amazing successes with Sainsbury’s.”
Porteous said: “The help from Rivers Capital really benefited us in acquiring the deal with Sainsbury’s, and it marks the start of big things for Beanies. We’ve got a lot of vision for this company and there’s plenty more to come.”
Founded by John White, Jonathan Gold and Peter Hiscocks, Rivers Capital Partners is an independent venture capital management company.
It offers an entrepreneur’s approach to venture capital, as all the founders have set up and managed their own businesses.
The North East Angel Fund is a £7.5m fund which invests in start-up and existing businesses with growth potential. It is part of the £125m Finance for Business North East suite of funds, which will support up to 850 SMEs in the North East.