A MIDLANDS-based coffee brand is set to open a new store in Dorset.

BEAR is an independent coffee house, kitchen, and bar brand that will open its eighth store in Wimborne this autumn.

Co-founder Craig Bunting said he is ‘thrilled’ about the expansion to the south coast.

Craig said: “Myself and my co-founder and best pal, Michael, both have a strong connection to the south coast. Michael was based in Dorset during part of his time in the Royal Marines, and my wife has been spending summers down there with her family since she was born, a tradition that we have continued to follow now that we have a young family of our own.

“Ever since we partnered with our investors - Poole-based family office, Clark Group - we’ve spent more time down south together, and it’s felt more and more like the most natural and exciting next step for our brand.

“We’ve always hoped that we’d be able to bring BEAR closer to the coast one day, and now it feels so wild that dream is actually coming true.”

BEAR will serve as a coffee house, kitchen, and bar, offering a ‘welcoming space’ for people to enjoy coffee, fresh brunch options, burgers and cocktails.

The Wimborne venue will welcome well behaved dogs at all hours of the day, “so the family pooch doesn’t have to miss a brunch date or a night out”.

BEAR is currently running its first-ever crowdfunding campaign, offering its community a chance to own shares in the brand.

It plans to use funds raised to bring BEAR to more communities across the UK, show some love to its existing stores, and invest in its team through its new University of BEAR learning and development platform.

Craig added: “We are excited to announce this new site as part of our first-ever crowdfunding campaign, which is currently live to receive investments.

“This allows our guests both in the Midlands and newly acquainted friends in Dorset to own shares in our brand, which has been built on the foundations of partnership since Michael and I started back in 2016.”