Chesterford’s owner ‘grateful’ for HSBC backing

Hertfordshire-based business keen to increase its number of Pret a Manger restaurants

Chesterford’s owner ‘grateful’ for HSBC backing

Hertfordshire-based business keen to increase its number of Pret a Manger restaurants

One of the fastest growing hospitality businesses in the UK, The Chesterford Group, are delighted to have received the backing of HSBC, as the company seek to expand their range of Pret a Manger outlets in the south-east.

The Chesterford Group, whose headquarters are in the Hertfordshire town of Bishop’s Stortford, are the recipients of a £1.2m funding package from the banking and financial services’ giant HSBC.

This funding will be used to boost the company’s subsidiary business, Joy Brands, which was created two years ago after The Chesterford Group successfully secured the rights to become one of Pret a Manager’s launch partners in the UK. In 2022, Joy Brands acquired four sites, which have subsequently led to the opening of Pret a Manger shops in Bishop’s Stortford and Braintree’s Freeport Shopping Village.

Within the next five years, The Chesterford Group are hoping to open a further 25 new Pret a Manger sites. These outlets have been earmarked for local high streets and regional shopping centres, and will each create approximately 20 job opportunities.

James Lipscombe, owner and managing director of The Chesterford Group, said: “Since establishing Joy Brands, we have become Pret a Manger’s best-performing franchisee globally.

“We’re extremely grateful to HSBC UK for the bank’s support and we’re looking forward to continuing our relationship with them, as we expand our business in the years ahead.” The Chesterford Group currently operate 39 fish and chip takeaway outlets and restaurants in the south of England.

In 2021, their Joy Brands subsidiary signed a franchise deal to open Pret a Manger outlets in Essex, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire – and these will run alongside the parent company’s already successful fish and chips’ businesses.

Neil Hoskins, relationship director at HSBC UK, added: “The Chesterford Group is a well-established award-winning business. We are delighted to be supporting the team as they seek to grow their Pret franchise enterprise. There will continue to be a demand for ‘food-on-the-go’, as consumers navigate busy lifestyles while still wanting to enjoy convenient, freshly prepared meals.”

The Chesterford Group grew from humble beginnings when miner Harold Lipscombe saved the money he earned from playing cricket to buy a fish and chip shop in 1923, which he and his wife ran for many years.

Harold’s son John took the business over in 1952, followed by his own son Hugh 19 years later. Hugh, who is still the company chairman today, saw an opportunity to grow the business and expand to new locations. He began by opening a store in Potter Street, Harlow, over 50 years ago.

About HSBC UK:

HSBC serve approximately 14.75m customers across the UK, supported by 24,000 colleagues. HSBC UK offers a complete range of retail banking and wealth management to personal and private customers. They also serve those in the commercial sector, ranging from small and medium size businesses, to large corporations.

About HSBC Holdings PLC:

Is the parent company of HSBC with headquarters in London. HSBC serves customers worldwide from offices in 62 countries and territories, covering Europe, Asia, North America, Latin America, Middle East and North Africa. With assets of US$2,990bn (at March-31st-2023), they are one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.

Andy Swales
Andy Swales