South West Finance back Bristol coffee business


Bristol-based coffee brand, TrueStart Coffee, has been backed by SWIG Finance with a £158,000 loan.

The funding is being used as working capital to enable the business to take advantage of growth opportunities with new retailers.

TrueStart is led by entrepreneurial husband-and-wife team Helena and Simon Hills. Based on their own experiences, Helena and Simon wanted to create a delicious, healthy coffee range that makes you feel amazing – with all the health benefits of great coffee and a consistent caffeine content too.

The business currently employs five members of staff, with three new roles being created in the next six months.

SWIG Finance is part of South West Investment Group, which was established in 1989 to raise and provide gap finance for local businesses for the purpose of economic development.

A not-for-profit social enterprise, it aims to bring social and economic benefits to people, places and the business community in the South West.

Since April 2009, It has invested more than £68.8 million in 4,146 businesses, creating and safeguarding 7,295 jobs and contributing £205.7 million to the South West economy.

As a certified B Corp, TrueStart Coffee is continuously looking for new ways to improve its social and environmental impact, including reducing its carbon footprint. Currently, 92.6 per cent of their packaging is recyclable.

Helena said: “The funding has enabled us to increase our inventory as well as grow the team by hiring more talent here in the South West. Our SWIG Business Manager, Nicola, was very personal and friendly from the outset. We felt the process was transparent and went both smoothly and quickly as a result”.

SWIG’s Senior Business Manager, Nicola Parker, commented: “I was delighted to support Simon and Helena with their growth plans. They have worked hard over the years to create a memorable brand that stands out in its marketplace and their evolution has been fascinating. They have consistently grown their customer base and have some very exciting opportunities in front of them. We look forward to seeing how the business grows over the next few years”.


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