bb’s bakers + baristas

Company overview

Owned by Irish private equity group, Causeway Capital Partners, bb’s bakers + baristas is a coffee shop operator with a high quality fresh food offering. The brand runs 60 cafés in the UK and Ireland sited in shopping centres and retail parks.
Directorbank was recently approached by Matt Scaife, Partner at Causeway Capital, to source a new CEO for the business. The position would oversee an ambitious growth plan for Bakers + Baristas in the UK and Ireland.

Brief & process

The ideal candidate required experience of leading a successful multi-site business in the food/café sector along with the necessary operational understanding to be able to drive efficiencies whilst rolling out the expansion plan and building the brand.
James Searby led the search process with research support from Jack Dart. Working alongside the client to develop a clear search strategy, a thorough mapping exercise was then undertaken to identify the best candidates in the market. As per the timescales set out at the start of the assignment, the search was completed within an 8 week period with James Fleming successfully appointed to the position.


James is a proven CEO in the food sector with a strong background in operations, customer focus and brand building. His track record incorporates both corporate and private equity ownership structures.
Previously James was CEO of Euphorium Bakery where he was responsible for increasing brand reach from 6 high street locations to a major presence in Tesco stores. During his tenure he opened 65 concessions across the Home Counties and rolled out a further 70 outlets within Tesco stores. Whilst CEO of Paul UK (a bakery, patisserie and café chain) he successfully delivered a growth and transformation programme, growing the UK store portfolio to 40 sites. James was also the Operations Director at PizzaExpress Restaurants responsible for maximising productivity and operational efficiencies whilst transforming the customer experience.