Making a difference at Hilton Smythe Finance. 

Our client saw an advert for Café G, an artisan kitchen and coffee house in Dulwich, South London, with seating for 50 customers inside and for 30 outside and a franchise business Gymboree, which offers sensory baby play combining music and movement. The businesses were being sold through Hilton Smythe Business Sales, part of the Hilton Smythe Group.

Commercial finance cafe
Commercial finance cafe

Once we understood the full financial picture, we were able to submit a lending proposal to acquire both advertised businesses. With a shortfall of a cash deposit, additional security was offered to a high street lender, which following a valuation meant the client could borrow enough to make the purchase.

Alex Heylings, commercial finance broker for Hilton Smythe Finance, said:


“We quickly took on board the full financial picture and with this in-depth understanding of the buyer’s circumstances, we were able to submit a lending proposal to a high street lender that meant the client was able to borrow enough to acquire both businesses.”

Gareth Smyth, CEO of Hilton Smythe Group, said: “The deal was not a straight forward one and its complexities demonstrates the synergy that exists between buying a business through Hilton Smythe Business Sales and how help also is readily available with the money side of a transaction via Hilton Smythe Finance.

“This showcases how the experts in our sales and finance divisions can make a real difference by working in tandem to get the best outcomes for both sellers and purchasers, as well as making the transaction run as smoothly and efficiently as possible.”

Alex Heylings said: “At Hilton Smythe they pride themselves on being able to find perfect new owners to enable established and well-loved businesses to continue to thrive when the current owners decide to take a new direction in life.

“With the range of expertise we have at Hilton Smythe Finance, we also are able to come up with tailor-made solutions to help a purchaser finance their takeover of a business, which sometimes means – as in this case – that we have to think outside the box to meet a lender’s criteria for the buyer to secure a loan.

“Seriously, you are awesome Alex. Thank you!”

Buyer of Café G & Gymboree

Both the sellers, Debbie and Charlotte, and our client were very happy with the outstanding level of service that both Hilton Smythe Finance and Hilton Smythe Business Sales had provided. In fact, the sellers were so pleased that they sent a thank you card, flowers and a luxury hamper to the staff at Hilton Smythe that had worked so hard on their behalf.

“They found one buyer for the sale of two businesses! The team were quick to resolve issues and guided us through the process calmly and simplistically, the whole process was quite seamless. Thank you to the team!”

Sellers of Café G & Gymboree

Thank you for all your hard work

Luxury hamper & flowers to the staff at Hilton Smythe from Debbie & Charlotte.

Commercial Mortgages & Business Loans

Fixed an variable rates with short and long-term periods, up to 25 years. Available to trading businesses looking for a commercial loan.

Is buying a café a good idea?

In recent years there has been an explosion in the number of cafés in UK cities and on the high street café culture continues to boom with 80% of us Brits visiting a café or coffee shop at least once a week while 16% visit on a daily basis.

In the UK we drink 95 million cups of coffee per day, an increase of 25 million over the last ten years. 65% is drunk at home, 25% at work and the rest consumed in shops, bars and restaurants.

Buy a cafe or coffee shop

Cafés for sale

Looking to buy a café or coffee shop then check out the hundreds of business Hilton Smythe have for sale, from the local ‘greasy spoon’, to cafés and coffee shops in historic and picturesque villages, they have them all!   

Coffee facts

  • Coffee is the most popular drink in the world with around two billion cups consumed every day
  • In the UK, we now drink approximately 95 million cups of coffee per day
  • For an average cup of coffee consumed in the UK, up to 76% of its value is estimated to be produced in the UK
  • The coffee industry creates over 210,000 UK jobs
  • The Gross Value-Added contribution from the UK coffee industry to the economy is estimated to be £9.1 billion, whilst output contribution, including indirect and induced multiplier impacts, of £17.7 billion in 2017
  • 80% of UK households buy instant coffee for in-home consumption, particularly those aged 65 and older
  • Ground coffee and single-serve coffee pods are becoming increasingly popular, particularly amongst millennials (aged 16-34) who account for 16% of all buyers
  • On the high street, café culture has also continued to boom, 80% of people who visit coffee shops do so at least once a week, whilst 16% of us visit on a daily basis.

Source: British Coffee Association

Tips for success

Businesses succeed after careful consideration; planning, research and understanding who you are selling to and how you sell your goods and services. So before you go ahead and buy a café investigate all the ins and outs of your potential café:

  • Know your market, what kind of people do you want attract to your café
  • Find a good location, somewhere visible, on the high street with lots of passing traffic
  • Be patient, don’t expect people to queue up from day one
  • Buy an existing café or coffee shop
  • Make sure you price your food and drink to your particular market
  • Make the customers feel at home, ask them for their feedback, ideas and constructive criticism.
Tips for success

Get in to touch with our specialist team who are ready to assist you with all the commercial finance you need.

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