Biggest unit

Black Sheep counting on Haymarket opening

Black Sheep Coffee opens its latest outlet in the Foster building (pic: contributed)

Black Sheep Coffee, the franchise chain founded by two St Andrews University flatmates a decade ago, is about to open its biggest outlet in Edinburgh and the second that will also serve beer and cocktails.

The 3,600 sq ft unit in the basement of the Norman Foster designed office block in Haymarket will have seating for 190 and includes an outdoor patio.

Another outlet has opened in nearby Shandwick Place as the brand continues to expand in the capital. Others are located in the city centre, often neighbouring Starbucks outlets.

The Haymarket coffeehouse will be owned by Urban Street Scene, run by Ian Lindsay and his wife Desiree who have raised a six-figure sum from HSBC and will take a hands-on role in the venture. They relocated from Buckinghamshire and will employ 15 staff.

Black Sheep Coffee was founded in 2013 by Gabriel Shohet and Eirik Holth who had been flatmates together at the University of St Andrews. In 2014, they raised £23,000 on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter.

In June 2019, the business raised £13m bringing the total raised to £19 million, all from private investors and valuing the business at £109.2m. Later that year, Black Sheep acquired eight stores from rival Taylor St Baristas which was entering administration.

In 2021, it received investment from basketball player Kristaps Porziņģis, to support expansion into the US. 

A year later, the UK government became a shareholder when Black Sheep was backed by the Future Fund, a scheme to support companies affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. By March 2023, Black Sheep Coffee had more than 50 locations in the UK.

Black Sheep Coffee Haymarket will open on 14 May.

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