Bishop’s Stortford’s new branch of Pret a Manger will deliver up to 25 new jobs for the town as well as a range of sandwiches, salads, soups, wraps, drinks, and snacks.
The coffee shop is being brought to Potter Street by home-grown entrepreneur James Lipscombe.
He is behind Joy Brands – a subsidiary of the Chesterford Group, one of the largest independently-owned fish and chip shop chains in the country, with branches including Fish’n’Chick’n on Thorley Park in Stortford and Churchill’s in Cambridge Road, Stansted.
Former Bishop’s Stortford College student James Lipscombe, chief executive of the Chesterford Group, said: “I am incredibly excited to open our first Pret shop of 2023 in Bishop’s Stortford.
“In my role as chairman of players and vice president at Bishop’s Stortford Rugby Club, as well as managing my son’s football team at Bishop’s Stortford Football Club, I have tried to be involved in the local community and give something back to the town I have lived in for many years.
“I am very much looking forward to bringing organic coffee and freshly prepared food from our on-site kitchen each day to our customers.
“We were granted the franchise rights for Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Essex in June of this year, after winning the right to become one of only three franchise launch partners for Pret A Manger in the UK.
“We currently operate four shops, and we have a number of openings in the pipeline. We look forward to opening many more Pret shops in the coming years!”
The new outlet will open in a 232 sq m (2,500 sq ft) Jackson Square unit, created as part of the precinct’s most recent £5.5m revamp, next to Nando’s and fronting Potter Street.
Manager Michael Smith said: “We are always excited to welcome a new name to the town and to the retail line-up at the centre. It’s great to hear that Bishops Stortford is being recognized by such a great brand as this will only continue to improve the offering we have available in the community.”
Guy Meakin, interim managing director UK & Ireland for Pret A Manger, said: “We’re committed to bringing Pret’s freshly made food and organic coffee to even more people around the UK, which is why we’re delighted to be opening a new shop in Bishop’s Stortford with our franchise launch partner, The Chesterford Group.
“James Lipscombe, chief executive of the Chesterford Group, is a local entrepreneur, who has grown up in Bishop’s Stortford and continues to be very much part of the community, which is why opening here is incredibly important to him and us.
“We are looking to provide up to 25 new jobs in the local community to help us deliver the ultimate Pret experience, and we’re excited to welcome our first customers early next year.
“As part of our ongoing work to help alleviate homelessness and poverty, where possible surplus freshly made food from the new shop will be donated to local charities at the end of each day via The Pret Foundation.”
The Chesterford Group, based in Start Hill, has over 40 locations employing more than 700 people.
The first Pret a Manger opened in 1986 and as of 2021, the chain had over 460 shops in the UK, 317 of them in London.