The founders and bosses of Harris + Hoole, the coffee shop chain part-owned by Tesco, are leaving the company amid the supermarket's asset sell off.
The sibling founders Nick Tolley, Andrew Tolley and Laura Tolley, who are chief executive, coffee director and chief design officer respectively will depart next month, Retail Week reports, retaining their majority stake in the chain in which Tesco holds a 49 per cent share.
The Tesco boss in charge of Harris + Hoole and restaurant chain Giraffe departed in March fueling speculation that both of the non-core businesses were for the chop. However, Tesco insisted it would continue working with the coffee shop's new management team following the latest departures, and its stake in the business remains the same at this point in time, a Tesco spokesperson said.
“We’d like to thank the Tolleys for all their hard work in making Harris + Hoole the popular, exciting brand it is today. We have worked successfully with Nick, Andrew, Laura and the Harris + Hoole team since investing in the business three years ago and it's clear customers have come to love the service, experience and high-quality coffee the brand offers. We will continue to work in partnership with the management board and look forward to the business progressing in the future.”
The siblings will return to running Taylor Street Baristas which they set up in 2008. Harris + Hoole operations director Colin Bell, chief financial officer Richard Harpham, people director Charlie Glynn and head of coffee Jochem Verhrijen will take over management of the business.
Tesco took a stake in the coffee chain back in 2012 under then-boss Philip Clarke, with plans to tempt shoppers to stores by installing coffee shops in the supermarkets.
After rapidly expanding to more than 40 shops, Harris + Hoole reported a pre-tax loss of £12.8m at the end of 2014.
The under pressure supermarket has already sent several of its assets through the checkout in a bid to streamline its business and turnaround billion pound losses, including digital entertainment service Blinkbox and its UK Homeplus stores, while the sale of other parts of the business are being considered.