Forecourt and convenience retailer Maxol is to invest £1 million with Ground Espresso Bars, the north's largest independently-owned scaled artisan coffee chain, in a new commercial partnership.
The first of the new stores will open at the end of March in Maxol's flagship Co Antrim site on the A26 at Tannaghmore, which itself opened just under a year ago, with an investment of over £200,000 and creating 10 new jobs.
The new Tannaghmore store is the 24th for the popular coffee chain and features Ground's industrial-finish Brew Bar and bespoke custom-made espresso machines from Synesso in Seattle.
The new 48-seater store will provide a shared space for both remote workers and families who can benefit from high-speed wi-fi, desktop charging points, large community tables and a new indoor and outdoor kids' play area - a first for Ground.
Maxol chief executive Brian Donaldson said: "As a family-owned and operated business with a passion for quality and innovation, we have much in common with our new partners and we look forward to developing several projects with Ground over the next three years.
"We want our customers to have plenty of choice within our sites and by introducing Ground into our estate that is exactly what we are providing.
Along with our existing food offerings that include our own Maxol deli, we are working hard to provide our customers with a fabulous new offer within a modern and welcoming environment."
Karen Gardiner, director of Ground Espresso Bars, added: “We are looking forward to opening this new store with Maxol and expanding our network. The partnership represents a significant investment by both companies and we look forward to seeing this develop further over the coming years.”
The Maxol Group, established in 1920 by William McMullan, had an annual turnover of £550m in 2016 and employs (directly and indirectly) more than 1,000 people across Ireland at its network of 234 service stations (of which 115 are company owned), while Ground Espresso Bars employs 280 staff across 22 stand-alone stores and concessions in Ireland.