Planning row Costa coffee shop bosses win award
Bristol coffee shop bosses Stuart and Lynn Montgomery, who found themselves at the centre of a council planning row earlier this year, have been crowned as UK franchisees of the year by Costa Coffee.
It is the second year running that the couple, who run shops in Henleaze, Gloucester Road, Whiteladies Road and Portishead have won the award.
Earlier this year planning enforcement action against two of their Bristol shops was thrown out by an inspector.
They won an appeal against the city council, which claimed their company did not have the correct permission to operate its cafes in Gloucester Road and Whiteladies Road.
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The Montgomerys appealed against the enforcement notice, claiming they were not in breach of any planning rules.
They were awarded full costs in relation to the appeals, which must be paid by the council.
The couple, who live in Westbury-on-Trym, said it was their unique approach of a personal and family-oriented style of doing business which had "captured the hearts of their customers" and won them their award.
Mr Montgomery, an ex-British Army Junior Leader (Royal Engineers), said: “Our customers come for the wonderful coffee the relaxing and unrushed atmosphere and most of the all friendly and considerate staff. We always try to remember names and choice of drinks of our regular customers, really giving the personal touch.
"Swift and stress-free service is our number one priority and ensuring each customer is served a wonderful coffee or tea is essential.
“We are thrilled to have won the Franchisee of the Year award for the second year running. It’s a great feeling to know that all our hard work in Bristol is paying off. We put a lot of time and energy into making our shops a success and most importantly a part of the local community.”
The couple met in Thailand where Stuart lived and worked for 10 years opening a dozen franchise businesses employing more than 400 people.
Returning to the UK they continued to run franchise businesses and now hold the franchise from Costa Coffee for Bristol and the South West.