November 20 2019 @ 12:46 by Steven Hugill
The operators of a popular food and music venue have shown they have a taste for expansion after securing a deal for a new venture.
The Guwahati Limited’s directors Simon Robson, Matthew Smith and Jennifer Burton have acquired The Teahouse.
Based at the Newcastle University campus, The Teahouse is known for offering breakfast, lunches and evening meals, as well as more than 60 types of loose-leaf tea from around the world.
Having already founded The Butterfly Cabinet, in Heaton, the Guwahati trio took on The Teahouse when its founders opted to explore new opportunities abroad.
Drawing inspiration from The Butterfly Cabinet, bosses say The Teahouse will open from 9am and offer a variety of breakfasts, lunches and cakes, with meat, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free options on its menu.
They have also expanded the operation into catering for 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.
The Guwahati Limited was advised by Newcastle-based commercial law firm St James’ Square on the deal, with senior associate Jenny Atkin project managing the acquisition alongside Barclays’ Katharine Mather.
Praising St James’ Square’s support, Simon said: “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.”
As the landlord of the listed building, Newcastle University played a significant role in the takeover of the business, as the institution was keen to ensure the space maintained its popular appeal to students.
Jenny, who works in St James’ Square’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.
“It is a major coup for Newcastle University to have this offering so close to the Student’s Union.”
Katharine added: “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.”
St James’ Square has acted for several regional businesses in the leisure sector, including restaurants 31 The Quay and The Naked Deli.