Case Study

Rumba raise a glass to good lending

When Martin’s business began to outgrow its old premises in Congleton, we were able to deliver freedom for future investment. But Rumba, a high-end café and bar brand, had so much more to offer as we uncovered its full potential…

Rum specialists are hard to come by. Martin Holmes and his team, however, had been delivering exceptional measures, coffees and cocktails for several years. One drink at a time, their Cheshire site had garnered a strong local reputation.

As a result, Martin and his business partner Chris had picked up several award wins and nominations. This created a window of opportunity: doubling down on such interest meant proving a competitive edge in Congleton, more so than ever before.

Expansion, therefore, was on the cards. They were looking to open a larger Rumba on the other side of town, a few thousand square feet in size – and the new premises had to be a headline attraction.

Martin had some of his own money tied up into the expansion, as well as a bank loan and pension funds. Yet catering equipment finance – for heavy-duty items like fridges, cookers and display cabinets – was needed in order to not send him over-budget. Novelty concepts were expensive too: the bar was prepped for four modified caravans, each of which would be set inside as a booth for patrons. The relocation was going to be extensive, to say the least.

This funding gap grew when we went to visit the site. Rumba would also need a complete fit-out involving Johnson Reed’s trademark quirky kit finance for the shop front, front bar, back bar, and bespoke seating and joinery. But conversations with Johnson Reed were able to move very swiftly. We knew that Martin and his colleagues were experienced in the food and drink sector, so we were confident that specialist lenders would accept their funding request.

All of the leases were signed off, in addition to restaurant refit funding for the flooring, air con, bottle coolers, much of the furniture, and an incredible lighting system. We helped Rumba’s new home become a haven for families in the daytime, yet equally popular with a younger crowd who love making use of their dancefloor. With our lending access, Martin and his co-founder also chose to install a pizza oven, keeping step with the local takeaways that are so successful at weekends.

Boasting over 80 rums and a passionate regional fan base, Rumba is doing amazingly well in the wake of its reopening. We loved to help and be a part of their business journey. If you’re a takeaway looking for just a small amount of assistance, or one seeking full fit-out finance, Johnson Reed can help – just get in touch.

The great thing about Mark and his team at Johnson Reed is their experience within our industry. They understand how we work and have been a breath of fresh air to deal with. Johnson Reed have been instrumental in the growth of our business, and have proven to be a great partner to have on board as we move through the next stage of our development.

Martin Holmes