New Research Reveals the Best UK Cities for Budding Coffee Shop Owners

In recent years, there has been a bigger spotlight placed on independent businesses, as consumers become more conscious of supporting their local communities.

Considering the rise of Britons starting new business ventures, SumUp has revealed the best cities in the UK for budding coffee shop owners. By looking at the top ten industries for independent businesses and assessing how many there are in each city, along with the average review score, we’ve created a list of the top ten locations. Each city was assigned a final index score and ranked accordingly.

Top 10 cities for independent coffee shop businesses:

City Number of coffee shops Average coffee shop review Total score
Bristol 79 4.64 1.26
Sheffield 83 4.63 1.26
London 166 4.43 1.24
York 65 4.63 1.16
Glasgow 88 4.57 1.14
Dublin 102 4.53 1.12
Edinburgh 115 4.50 1.12
Salford 31 4.69 1.12
Gloucester 32 4.69 1.11
Newry 20 4.71 1.10

It’s no surprise that Bristol tops the list as the best city for fostering and thriving as an independent coffee shop business. The city boasts an impressively high score of 1.26 for the number of independent coffee shop businesses it hosts, home to 79 independent coffee shops. Additionally, the city boasts the highest rated coffee shops on average within the coffee sector, with an average coffee shop rating of 4.64 stars. 

Whilst having fewer coffee shops than the capital, likely due to scale and population, Bristol’s coffee shops perform better than those in the capital, on average, as London’s independent cafes hold an average review score of 4.43.

The northern powerhouse, Sheffield, is another strong contender for independent coffee shops, ranking as the second best UK city for independent coffee spots. The northern city has slightly more independent roasters than Bristol, and just ranks by 0.01 points when it comes to average reviews.

Corin Camenisch, product marketing lead at SumUp, says: “We’re rooted in supporting independent businesses beyond financial technology. By understanding and spotlighting the best cities in the UK for businesses to thrive, we’re aiming to provide valuable insights to entrepreneurs. While the sheer number of independent businesses in each city is a crucial part of our research, the quality of the businesses reflected by customer reviews is a powerful indicator of both success and satisfaction within each city.”