Best known for:
Sahar is best known for being the founder of the UK's first US style coffee bar chain, Coffee Republic.
Sahar Hashemi founded Coffee Republic, the UK's first US style coffee bar chain. Sahar and her brother built it into one of the UK's most recognized high street brands with a turnover of £30million and gave up her career as a lawyer to make Coffee Republic one of the main players in the 'coffee revolution'. Sahar was named 'Pioneer to the life of the nation' by Her Majesty The Queen and Yong Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in Davos. Sahar has gone on to write many successful books and start new companies, such as 'Skinny Candy', a high profile brand of lower calorie candy which she sold to confectionery conglomerate Glisten Plc.
Sahar Hashemi OBE 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 her career as a lawyer in London, she 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.
Sahar left the day-to-day management of Coffee Republic in 2001 and published a bestselling book called ‘Anyone Can Do It- building Coffee Republic from our kitchen table’' which has been translated into 6 languages and is 2nd highest selling book on entrepreneurship after Richard Branson’s book.
Sahar was named ‘Pioneer to the life of the nation’ by Her Majesty The Queen and Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in Davos. She was also named one of 100 most influential women in Britain by Daily Mail and 35 top women in British business by Management Today. In a Shell Livewire survey of inspirational role models Sahar was among the top 5 along with James Dyson and Dame Anita Roddick. She has been on the cover of Director Magazine, Management Today, Observer Magazine, New Business Magazine, Business 550 and Voyager.
In 2005 Sahar started Skinny Candy, a high profile brand of sugar free sweets which she sold to confectionery conglomerate Glisten Plc in 2007.
Her most recent book ‘Switched On: 10 Habits to Being Highly Effective in Your Job, and Loving it ’ about entrepreneurial mindset for employees was published in March 2010. Sahar says, "The future is all about being entrepreneurial in the employee context. You need to bring your whole personality – not just the ‘professional’ you - to work. Move outside your comfort zone, ignite your innate creativity and forget the ‘this is how we’ve always done things’ mentality. Don’t fear failure, fear complacency. You need to see having fun as an essential part of professional success. Living and making a living should be the same thing."
In 2011 Sahar was nominated by Director magazine as one of the Top 10 Original Thinkers, alongside individuals such as Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web and Jonathan Ives, Vice-President of Design at Apple and designer of the iPod.
In 2011 she was invited to join the Entrepreneurs Forum set up by UK Business Secretary Vince Cable to give informal personal advice to the government on enterprise policies.
She currently sits on the Consumer Council of EON UK Plc. In June 2012 Sahar was awarded an OBE for services to the UK economy and to charity.