London Café Chain Aims to Become the Next Starbucks with £6 Million Investment

A small London café chain, Knoops, renowned for its luxurious hot chocolate drinks sold in select stores across Kensington, Covent Garden, and Knightsbridge, has set its ambitious goal of becoming the “new Starbucks.”


The company recently secured a substantial £6 million loan from Eléonore de Lubersac, a wealthy French aristocrat and descendant of prominent banking and political figures.

With the infusion of this debt financing, Knoops plans to accelerate its expansion strategy.

The company envisions establishing up to 200 stores throughout the UK and aspires to follow the rapid growth trajectory of the American coffee giant, Starbucks.

They aim to reach an impressive milestone of 3,000 stores worldwide by 2030, generating an annual turnover exceeding £3 billion.


Knoops’ newly appointed CEO, William Gordon-Harris, expressed his excitement about the £6 million facility, which will fuel the company’s continued growth.

Over the past two years, the business has experienced exponential expansion, quadrupling its size.

This financing aligns with Knoops’ strategy to venture into the international market while fulfilling their vision of becoming the leading provider of quality barista hot and cold chocolate beverages, akin to the success of Starbucks.

The company’s CEO also shares aristocratic ties, hailing from the Champion de Crespigny baronets, with the second baronet having served as an MP for Southampton in the 19th century.

Moreover, Knoops has garnered support from other major investors, such as Konstantin von Schweinitz, a member of the German aristocratic von Schweinitz family and a polo-playing investment banker.


His grandfather, Hans-Hermann Graf von Schweinitz und Krayn, was a former German navy rear admiral.

Knoops began its journey in 2013 as a single outlet in East Sussex, founded by Jens Knoop, a German expatriate in the UK since the nineties.

Since then, the chain has expanded to 11 stores, with a significant presence in London.

Londoners and tourists alike have been drawn to the café’s tempting array of indulgent hot chocolate drinks, ice cream, and milkshakes.

With more than 20 different varieties of chocolate on offer, the café has struck a chord with its customers.


The chain’s growth in London is poised to continue, with plans to open a new outlet in Notting Hill in August, and a store in Bath in the pipeline.

The strategic advantage of Knoops lies in its extended operating hours; for instance, the Covent Garden branch remains open until 10:30 pm on weeknights.

This unique offering has allowed Knoops to attract a diverse customer base, including the post-theater and after-dinner crowd seeking a comforting hot chocolate on chilly nights.

The café aims to bring a fresh and appealing addition to the culinary scene, catering to the growing demand for something novel and delightful.


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