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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Excitement builds as Pret A Manger set to open first store in Northern Ireland

Pret A Manger sign

Pret A Manger will officially open its first shop in Northern Ireland on Thursday 7th December in Belfast.


Based in the heart of the city at Donegall Square West, the hugely anticipated opening will bring the much-loved, freshly made food and organic coffee brand to customers in Northern Ireland for the first time ever.


With this new shop opening, Pret has created 20 new jobs for the local Belfast economy. This is Pret’s fifth shop to begin trading on the island of Ireland within the last 18 months and is part of the brand’s commitment to open 20 Pret shops across Ireland within the next decade, creating around 400 positions.



Known for its freshly made food, Pret will bring its extensive range of great tasting, high quality products to Belfast customers, all prepared by team members in the shop’s on-site kitchen each day.


The new shop will work with a number of local Northern Irish suppliers, including Lynas Foodservice in Coleraine.


Pret’s famous organic coffees and teas (available both hot or iced) will be prepared by trained baristas alongside its menu of sandwiches, salads and hot-food options, snacks, baked goods and cold drinks.



At end of each day, surplus food will be donated to itslocal charity partner, Welcome Organisation, via The Pret Foundation. The Pret Foundation’s aim is to help end homelessness, poverty, and hunger, and has long been committed to donating unsold food to the communities where Pret shops are located. Welcome Organisation is a Belfast-based charity that provides homeless support through a range of services, including a drop-in centre, street outreach, crisis accommodation for women, floating support, and a mobile health unit.


Clare Clough, UK & Ireland Managing Director at Pret A Manger, said:


“Our first Northern Ireland shop is a huge moment for Pret. We know the community in Belfast have long been calling out for a local Pret shop, so to be opening in the heart of the city brings us a lot of joy. We are delighted to be working with our longstanding franchise partners Carebrook, who have a proven track record of excellence operating Pret shops in the UK and Northern Ireland. We’ve got big plans to keep growing in Ireland and look forward to bringing our freshly made food and organic coffees to new customers across Belfast.”



The Belfast shop opening is part of partnership between Pretand Carebrook Ltd., one of its longest serving franchise partners, which has overseen the success of many shops in London, including Camden, Belsize Park and Finchley.


Having grown up in the Republic of Ireland, Carebrook co-owners Gerard Loughran and Ray McNamara have in-depth knowledge of the food industry in the UK and Ireland, alongside 30 years of experience working with Pret and have already opened four successful Pret shops across Dublin.

 

Gerard Loughran, Chief Executive at the Carebrook Partnership Ltd, added:


“This is an exciting milestone in our expansion of the Pret brand on the island of Ireland with the grand opening of our first shop in Belfast. The team has been working hard to prepare for the opening and to welcome our first customers through the door. We’re excited to introduce Belfast to Pret’s freshly made food, organic coffeeand friendly service."



The Belfast launch also coincides with the arrival of Pret’s hotly anticipated festive menu, which is available until Christmas Eve.


It includes seasonal favourites such as its famous Christmas Lunch Sandwich, Brie and Cranberry Baguette, Boxing Day Toastie and a host of festive barista-made drinks including the Merry Berry Hot Chocolate, the Salted Caramel Latte and the popular Gingerbread Latte.


Pret now operates in 16 markets on three continents and expects to have 700 shops worldwide by the end of 2023.Earlier this year, Pret announced that half year revenue in 2023 reached £429.9m, growing by 20.2% compared with the same period in 2022. International expansion has been a key driver of this growth, with international sales now accounting for 18.9% of Pret’s revenue.

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