Sahar is the creator of brands, Coffee Republic and Skinny Candy, earning her the title “pioneer to the life of the nation” from Her Majesty The Queen. Sahar’s first business success was Coffee Republic, Uk’s first coffee bar chain which she founded in 1995. She grew the business to 100 stores before exiting in 2001.
Sahar Hashemi founded Coffee Republic, the UK’s first US style coffee bar chain with her brother and built it into one of the UK’s most recognised high street brands with a turnover of £30m. Giving up highly professional jobs, she a lawyer in London and he an investment banker in New York, they staked everything on a dream – and made Coffee Republic one of the main players in the ‘coffee revolution’ that transformed a nation of tea drinkers into one obsessed with ‘triple decaf half-caf lattes’.
In 2005 Sahar founded Skinny Candy, a brand of guilt free sweets, again from her kitchen table, inspired by her sweet tooth. Skinny Candy quickly become a hit with fashionistas, named ‘hip confectonery brand’ by Vogue, on the Vanity fair A list and hailed by glossy magazines from Tatler to Grazia. She secured distribution with Waitrose, Holland & Barrett, Topshop and Selfridges before in was sold to confectionery conglomerate, Glisten plc in 2007.
She is author of the bestselling book ‘Anyone Can Do It- building Coffee Republic from our kitchen table’ which has been translated into 6 languages.
Following the success of ‘Anyone Can Do It’ Sahar has been internationally acclaimed motivational speaker on innovation and entrepreneurial mindset.
Her book ‘Switched On’ published in May 2010 is based on her experience working with big corporations about activating the creative entrepreneurial mindset. As a business motivational speaker she uses her personal experience to bring to life the tools employees need to leave their comfort zone, come alive at work, be the one to spot opportunities, have inspired ideas, make them happen and ultimately become indispensible.
She was named Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum Davos.