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The firm has advised The Guwahati Limited on the acquisition of the Quilliam Brothers’ Teahouse.
St James’ Square has helped three entrepreneurs with the purchase of The Teahouse, based at the Newcastle University campus.
Simon Robson, Matthew Smith and Jennifer Burton, directors of The Guwahati Limited, have previously successfully managed The Butterfly Cabinet in Heaton, renowned for its all-day breakfast and long queues out of the door.
The team were presented with the opportunity to expand their already successful offering into the town centre when the founders of the former café decided to explore new opportunities abroad.
As the landlord of the listed building, Newcastle University played a significant role in the Butterfly Cabinet’s takeover of the business, as the institution were keen to ensure the space maintained its popular appeal to students.
Jenny Atkin, Senior Associate at St James’ Square, project managed the acquisition, along with Katharine Mather at Barclays.
Jenny, who works in the firm’s Real Estate – Commercial Property team, said: “It was evident throughout the process of the acquisition how passionate Simon and the team are about running a business that appeals to the student experience and maintains the fun and relaxed ethos they have cultivated at their existing premises.
“With the Butterfly Cabinet already so popular in Heaton, there was absolutely no doubt that the team were the perfect fit to take over the teahouse and it is a major coup for Newcastle University to have this offering so close to the Student’s Union.”
Katharine Mather provided funding for the deal and said: “It’s great to see a local business thriving, expanding for the future and contributing to the local economy. Simon, Matthew and Jennifer already have a great brand and following, and the new site will enable them to continue with their growth plans and reach more new customers across the University site.”
Having drawn inspiration from its predecessor, The Butterfly Cabinet, The Teahouse will open from 9am and offers a variety of breakfasts, lunches and cakes with plenty of meat, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and dairy free options throughout the day and into the evening.
The team have also expanded their operation into catering private cinema nights and function bookings. Moving into the new year, there are plans to launch an online platform for the purchase of loose tea and to establish an NHS discount for Teahouse patrons.
Simon commented: “We were dealing with a very tight timescale, but Jenny went above and beyond to ensure we completed the purchase within six weeks.
“Jenny’s specialist knowledge and experience of working with leisure facilities meant the process was seamless, despite the timescale and the number of parties involved. She took the time to explain each step of the process to us in a no nonsense, commercial manner - which was invaluable given this is our first expansion into new premises.
“It was a pleasure working with St James’ Square and we’re very excited about our future plans.”
St James’ Square provides cost effective and high-quality legal advice for businesses and individuals. The firm has acted for several regional businesses in the leisure sector, including restaurants 31 The Quay and The Naked Deli.