Martyn Dawes is a successful entrepreneur. He founded his first business, MDA (Martyn Dawes Associates) in the recession of 1991. That business continues to trade successfully to this day (now called Dawes Ryan Consulting).
His idea for Coffee Nation came from a combination of seeing how many cups of coffee were being sold in convenience stores in New York and reading about the business model of a photocopier company. Four years later, after proving the concept, he raised £4 million in development capital from a London-based private equity firm.
Coffee Nation grew fast and secured long-term contracts with major retailers including Tesco, Sainsbury, Esso, Moto, Welcome Break and Somerfield.
In 2008 the company was sold for £23m, returning investors four times their money and was sold again finally to Whitbread/Costa in 2011 for almost £60m.
Martyn and Coffee Nation have won numerous awards, including:
— Sunday Times/Virgin Atlantic Fast Track Awards 2006: Winner of the Innovation Award
— Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2005, South Region, Consumer Products & Services
— Coffee Nation featured in Real Business Hot 100 Index of the Top 100 Fastest Growing Privately Owned Companies in the UK, 2005 and 2006
— Sunday Times/Virgin Atlantic Index of the Top 100 Fastest Growing Privately Owned Companies in the UK, December 2005, ranked no. 13
— Sage Business Awards 2003, Best Business Leader (to 25 employees category)
— Orange Small is Beautiful Award 2003; Best Demonstration of Entrepreneurial Passion