Giving up highly professional jobs, she a lawyer in London and him 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'. Neither had any previous knowledge about retail or indeed coffee. But Sahar had developed a passion for the skinny lattes and fat free muffins she had seen in New York. How they came to build a nationwide coffee chain is a fascinating and inspirational tale of the ups and downs of following your dream. From the first conversation when the seed of the idea was planted, to getting a DTI Small Firms Loan Guarantee, finding a name and opening the first store, it a personal story about two people who stopped 'thinking about it' and 'did it'.
Sahar left the day to day management of Coffee Republic in 2001 and has written a book called 'Anyone Can Do It - Building Coffee Republic from our Kitchen table' which tackles some of the fears and answers some of the elusive questions about what it really takes to become an entrepreneur. It reached number 1 on the Amazon business chart.
Sahar has been named one of the 100 Most Influential Women in Britain (in 2003 by the Daily Mail). She has also made the cover of Management Today, Director and Business 550 magazines. Her media appearances include CNN Business Breakfast, BBC2, Radio 4, LBC, Radio 5 and BBC London amongst many others.
She is a speaker ambassador for the Prince's Trust and has spoken as keynote speaker at numerous high profile events including the IoD Women's 2002 Summit, Wall Street Journal Europe Women In Business Summit and Enterprise 100.
Sahar lectures at the London Business School Entrepreneurship summer school.
Sahar has also been named in the:
- Top 35 Women in British business under 35 Management Today
- 20 most powerful women in Britain Independent on Sunday
- Shell liveWIRE survey of inspirational role models:
1) Richard Branson 2) Friends/family 3) Anita Roddick 4) James Dyson 5) Sahar Hashemi
In 2005 Sahar Hashemi launched Skinny Candy, a high profile brand of sugar free sweets. It has already received wide press coverage and is available across big department store chains throughout the UK.