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Thu 24th Jul 2014 - Propel Thursday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Crowdcube smashes world record by raising £1.2m in 16 minutes: The crowd-funding platform Crowdcube took just 16 minutes to raise £1.2m from private investors to help fund its expansion plans. The company now intends to double staff numbers and open offices in London and Scotland after securing new investment. Crowdcube completed the £5m fundraising round with a record-breaking pitch which reached its £1.2m target within 16 minutes of going live on its own website on Tuesday. This was 12 times faster than the previous record for the fastest crowd-funded pitch and set a world record for the fastest equity crowdfunding raise, with 141 investors injecting an average of more than £8,500. Darren Westlake, chief executive and co-founder of Crowdcube, based at the University of Exeter’s Innovation Centre, said: “We’re delighted to have given everyday investors the opportunity to invest in our fast-growing business. This record-breaking fundraise from our crowd of registered investors at the same time as backing by an established venture capital firm is a huge thumbs-up for our business, team and the growth path that we outlined. This is the first time that any sizeable fundraising has meshed traditional and alternative finance methods and we expect to see more of this in the future.” Revenue at Crowdcube for the financial year ending September 2013 was £323,000, with a gross profit of £310,000. The revenue target for the current financial year ending September 2014 is growth of 278% to £900,000. The Crowdcube pitch says: “To achieve this we set quarterly sales targets and this have been met and exceeded for every quarter for the first three quarters of this year.” Crowdcube has previously raised £320,000 in 2011 and £1.5m in 2013 by crowd-funding itself on its own platform. Last month, Crowdcube launched mini-bonds for the established brands Chilango and River Canteen and Deli, raising a combine total of more than £2.3m so far.

Industry News:

Luke Johnson – I agree that founders make good chief executives: Sector investor Luke Johnson has argued that founders of companies can make for the best chief executives as they move through the medium-term growth curve. In his Financial Times column, he wrote: “Clever investors prefer founding CEOs. For example, at the VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, they studied great technology companies and noted that founders ran an overwhelming majority for a long time, including Jeff Bezos at Amazon, Ken Olsen at Digital Equipment Corporation, David Packard at Hewlett-Packard, Bill Gates at Microsoft, and Akio Morita at Sony. They believe that founders are better at innovating – while also possessing moral authority, deep knowledge and a long-term commitment. I sympathise with their philosophy, and agree that the best founders are usually also the best CEOs of their business – because by nature they are resourceful all-rounders.”

Restaurants warned of forthcoming allergen rules: Restaurants, coffee shops, wine bars and army canteens could risk large fines if they do not state precisely which dishes contain celery, fish and eggs as part of new EU restrictions. The Food Standards Agency is introducing new laws that will require anywhere that sells pre-prepared and non-packed food to specify if food contains any ingredients in a list of the EU’s 14 “top allergens”, including eggs, celery, milk and gluten. Anywhere that does not comply with the regulations could be fined by the Environment Agency. The new rules are being introduced by Brussels to help people who are allergic to specific foods. The new regulations, which come into force in December this year, mean it will no longer be acceptable for cafes and wine bars to state on menus that they do not know if allergens are present, or that they “could” be present

US nightclub app receives cash injection: Tablelist, a Massachusetts-based mobile app that makes it easy for partygoers to book tables at nightclubs and lounges and then split the bill with friends if they choose to, has raised $1.5m. Wayne Chang global head of developer experience for San Twitter, contributed to the round along with Jason Carroll, a founder of the finance company Hudson River Trading. The money will be used to expand the mobile app to cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington and Miami within six months. Tablelist’s founder and chief executive, Julian Jung, said in an interview that the company “is definitely growing a lot faster than we expected.”

Sky invests in sports news channel: Sky Sports News will relaunch on 12 August as Sky Sports News HQ, helping pubs and bars to keep customers in their venues longer with “even more breaking news, the best talent and expert analysis”, the broadcaster said. Sky Sports News HQ will offer 24 hours of rolling coverage, as well as showcasing other content on the Sky Sports channels. Sky said its “unrivalled” service “helps establish pubs and bars as a go-to sports venue – using Sky Sports News HQ alongside live sport ensures that viewers never miss a thing.”

Company News:

Peyton & Byrne withdraws from Brighton contracts: The contract caterer Peyton & Byrne has withdrawn from catering contracts at a number of Brighton and Hove museum cafes, Brighton and Hove News has reported. It will end its operation running tearooms and cafes at Brighton Dome, Brighton Museum, the Royal Pavilion and Hove Museum over the next few months. The company said the cafes did not fit with its core activities in London. Joint tenders will be run for event catering and the cafes, with the Dome and Festival bars expected to return to in-house management. Janita Bagshawe, Brighton and Hove Council’s head of the Royal Pavilion, arts and museums said: “We are disappointed that Peyton & Byrne will be leaving at this stage, especially as they have invested considerably locally in existing and new outlets over the past 16 months. We are pleased to confirm, however, that Brighton Dome and Brighton Festival and the Royal Pavilion will continue working in partnership on a joint tender for event catering and daytime cafes.”

BrewDog to open Cardiff site tomorrow: The Scottish brewer and retailer BrewDog will open its first site in Wales tomorrow, in a two-floor venue in Westgate Street, Cardiff. The company said: “BrewDog Cardiff will be our eighth bar launch of 2014 so far, making this a solid record year in BrewDog bars history so far! The bar will rock some of the tastiest burgers, dawgs and tater tots you’ve ever laid eyes on, following suit from our new menu launch in Camden last month. All this mighty fine food will be served up alongside a delicious 30 taps of craft beer from BrewDog and international craft breweries.”

Hony Capital boss – PizzaExpress deal is about satisfying domestic demand: John Zhso, the chief executive of the Chinese private equity firm Hony Capital, which is buying PizzaExpress for £900m in its biggest overseas deal yet, is interested in investing further in foreign consumer brands so it can build them up in China. Zhao said in an interview that the Beijing-based firm is not changing course on a long-held core strategy: investing in state-owned enterprises and helping them restructure. But he said Hony now considers cross-border deals to be “another major drive” of its strategy, as more large Chinese firms look to internationalise and more international brands seek to tap into China’s growing consumer market. “China, in the last 20, 30 years, being busy becoming the world’s factory, has not done enough to produce brands, technology, service that could satisfy domestic requirements,” he said. “We like to acquire and invest in these global brands, bring them to China and build growing businesses.”

Nando’s creates 135 jobs with first UK airport opening: Nando’s has opened its first airport restaurant at London Gatwick’s South Terminal. The airport branch, which officially opened yesterday, has created 135 new jobs in the terminal. The restaurant, which will be the first Nando’s to serve a new breakfast option, can seat up to 220 customers. Garry Duncan, Nando’s regional director, said: “We’re all incredibly excited to open our first ever airport restaurant, and can’t wait to finally open the doors. The team behind the new restaurant has spent months preparing for the big opening, and they can’t wait to give hungry travellers the great food and spicy treats they’ve been waiting for before they take to the skies.”

Patisserie Valerie doubles up in Cambridge city centre: Patisserie Valerie is to open a second site in Cambridge city centre, four years after it opened its first venue. The brand, which already has a store in Bridge Street, has agreed to take a new store in Fitzroy Street outside the Grafton Centre. Meanwhile, the chain is also opening inside the Fenwick store in Brent Cross, North London, following on from three openings inside Next sites last year.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is handed keys to new River Cottage restaurant in Winchester: Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall was handed the keys to Abbey Mill, due to be the site of his next River Cottage Canteen & Deli, by the Mayor of Winchester, Eileen Berry, this week at a small ceremony toasting Winchester Council’s hard work. Winchester Council has spent £1m to bring the building up to scratch, taking it from its former shell to a functional unit. River Cottage has said a further £750,000 will be spent for the amenities and decoration to create its fourth Canteen. The partly open-plan former mill, in Colebrook Street, will have an open kitchen, a separate bar, a private dining area and a staff area as well as the main seating room. It will also have an outdoor space facing the park near the sluice, which has now been turned into a bridge.

Peruvian Michelin-starred chef opens second London restaurant: The Peruvian chef Virgilio Martinez and his partners, Gabriel and Jose Luis Gonzalez, have opened their second site, on Garrick Street, Covent Garden, in Central London. The 70-cover restaurant, Lima Floral, introduces new ingredients and dishes supposedly never seen in the capital before. Gabriel Gonzalez, co-owner of Lima, said: “The cuisine is an evolution on what we have offered diners at Lima London, with an aim of sharing the latest research and findings direct from Virgilio’s Central restaurant, 15th in the world’s 50 best restaurants in Peru. Lima Floral is split in two spaces: the main restaurant and a ‘piqueos bar’, essentially a bar serving tapas dishes, which is very traditional in Peru, where we don’t take bookings.” After a launch in August 2012, Lima became the first Peruvian restaurant to be awarded a Michelin star, in September 2013. The building, on the corner of Garrick Street and Floral Street, is owned and managed by Capco. Beverley Churchill, Capco’s creative director, said: “The Lima team’s new project is the perfect addition to Covent Garden’s thriving dining scene and continues our strategy of partnering the world’s most exciting restaurateurs and foodies to premiere UK-first concepts in the neighbourhood.”

Soho House to open second countryside site in Oxfordshire: Soho House Group is to open a second country site, this time located in Oxfordshire. Its first out-of-London site was Babington House, which opened in 1998 near Frome, Somerset. The new venue, Farmhouse, will launch in the summer of 2015 at Tracey Farm, between the villages of Great Tew and Enstone. Planning permission has been granted to Soho House and Great Tew Estates to develop a hotel and leisure complex which will incorporate the conversion of original farm buildings, alongside the building of new properties. The site, on a 93-acre estate, will include a seven-bedroom farmhouse, a four-bedroom cottage, 30 cabins ranging from one to three bedrooms, a boathouse, swimming pool, lakes, tennis courses and a five-a-side football pitch. The Soho House Group was launched by Nick Jones in 1995. Earlier this week, Propel reported that Soho House will open its largest US venue in Chicago next month.

Tesco to open in-store Giraffe in York: Tesco has submitted plans to York city council to open a Giraffe restaurant at the chain’s Askham Bar Tesco Extra store in Tadcaster Road, York. The Giraffe restaurant will be on the ground floor, in the north-east corner of the store, with an outside seating area to be created under the existing roof peak, covered by a canvas awning. The current Tesco cafe in the mezzanine area will be removed. Matthew Stevenson, planning agent acting for Tesco, said: “The proposal for the new Giraffe will keep the majority of the existing store features with some slight additions of new windows, signage and new materials for the external Giraffe area. Its finishing materials are new timber cladding around existing columns, new steel frame screening with canvas banner infill, new aluminium doors and windows, and a new canvas awning over the external seating area.” When Tesco bought the restaurant chain in March last year for £48.6m the store chain said it planned to open Giraffe restaurants at around ten Tesco Extra stores over the next few years. To date eight Giraffe restaurants have opened within, or next to, Tesco stores in the UK. If approved, the new restaurant will be the second Giraffe restaurant in York after the opening of a branch at the Vangarde Shopping Centre, at Monks Cross in May. The application for the new restaurant is due to be determined by the council by September 4.

Frankie & Benny’s set for Uxbridge: Restaurant Group’s Frankie & Benny’s brand is planning to open in Uxbridge, Middlesex. The restaurant is set to open in the town centre in early 2015, but the company told the local newspaper it does not have an opening date yet and could not confirm where it would move in. The brand is the latest business to confirm its place in town, with Wagamama set to open up inside the Intu-owned Uxbridge shopping centre.

Umbrella Project to open second site: Umbrella Project will open a second site, the Sun Tavern, on Bethnal Green Road, East London, in late September, after the success of Discount Suit Company on Petticoat Lane Market, on the edge of the City, which opened in January this year. The drinks list at the Sun Tavern will include a number of classic cocktails) that have already proven popular at Discount Suit Company, as well as a large selection of Irish whiskies and poteen, as well as a selection of punches. There will also be a number of weekly changing ales, sourced from microbreweries within a two-mile radius, as well as the own-brand Sun Tavern house lager and pale ale. The team behind the Umbrella Project include Andy Kerr, formerly of the Columbo Group, All Star Lanes and Living Ventures, and Stephen Thompson and Ali Tatton, both of Mixology Events.

Swiss chef and restaurateur buys pub lease as part of expansion plan: Swiss chef and restaurateur Michael Riemenschneider has acquired the lease on The Black Boys pub in Hurley, near Henley in Berkshire. The site, which has a 50-cover restaurant and eight en-suite guest rooms, is already open under a soft launch. The venue is an AA four-star restaurant with rooms but there are plans to upgrade it to five stars and add spa treatment rooms. Mark Calder, sales director of Restaurant Property sales director, has also been asked by the chef to secure a restaurant within a hotel in central London and also look for restaurants in affluent areas of Surrey. Calder said: “Michael Riemenschneider is a very special talent who is known for his very unique style and approach to cooking. He is backed by a new syndicate of investors who are very confident Michael has discovered a very successful recipe built around a great personal brand”. Riemenschneider, who has trained with some of Europe’s finest chefs, opened the much-lauded but compact 20-seat Canvas in London’s Marylebone in January. He tasked Restaurant Property with finding larger premises. He is set to open in the next month at Cheval’s 1 Wilbraham Place, off Sloane Street SW1. The new Canvas will have between 60 and 80 seats, a 12-seater chef’s table, its own wine cellar, a 20-seat private dining room and a dessert bar where diners will be offered the chance to plate their own dishes. Lease details were not disclosed. Strutt & Parker acted for Cheval.

Krispy Kreme set to open second Scottish site in Aberdeen: Krispy Kreme is tipped to open its second Scottish site, in Aberdeen. A local newspaper reported: “The producers of the sweet doughnuts, which have had people queuing round shopping malls and motorway embankments whenever they have opened a new outlet in Britain, have not commented publicly so far, but have advertised for a retail store manager for their new Aberdeen outlet in the centre of the city. It is likely to be based off Union Street, close to the railway station.”

Indian restaurants facing £20,000 illegal worker fine: Two Indian restaurants in Essex face fines of up to £20,000 after illegal workers were discovered in raids. Home Office Immigration Enforcement officers descended on Shuhag Tandoori Restaurant in Southend Road, Hockley at around 6.30pm last Friday (18 July). Their checks revealed that a 24-year-old member of staff was a Bangladeshi man working in breach of his visa conditions. Officers then moved on to the Dil Tandoori in High Road, Pitsea, where subsequent checks on staff revealed a 34-year-old Bangladeshi man who had overstayed his visa. The 24-year-old has been detained and the 34-year-old released on immigration bail while work starts to remove them from the UK. The businesses now both face a potential penalty of up to £20,000 unless the owners can demonstrate that appropriate pre-employment checks were carried out, such as seeing a passport or Home Office document.

Prince of Wales’s personal chef quits to serve his favourites at gastro-pub: The Prince of Wales’s personal head chef, Visen Anenden, has quit his job in the royal household to work in a London gastro-pub called The Duchy Arms. The Prince’s valet, Tim McCandless, is backing the pub, which will serve some of Prince Charles’s favourite meals. Anenden, who was previously based at Charles’s Highgrove estate in Gloucestershire, is due to take up the head chef role at the gastro-pub, which is in Kennington, South London, last week. The revamped menu will be available from September. The lavatories will bear the names Duke and Duchess.

Wetherspoon opens in Peebles, invests £300,000 in open-air extension to Carlisle pub: JD Wetherspoon has opened a pub in Peebles in the Scottish Borders (population: 8,159). The company has created 55 jobs for the venture and spent £2.2m re-developing the Cross Keys Inn in Northgate. The new pub and hotel is retaining the name of the Cross Keys, the oldest inn in Peebles. Meanwhile, Wetherspoon will unveil a £300,000 extension to its William Rufus pub in Botchergate in Carlisle city centre on Saturday. Work is being carried out as the firm prepares to mark the tenth anniversary of its opening. It has seen the knocking down of the building that once housed the Platform 1 nightclub in Collier Lane, behind Botchergate, with the site turned into an open-air drinking space for the William Rufus. The new beer garden has a timber pergola, stone flooring, brickwork and timber, as well as extensive planting. New glazed doors have also been installed.

Artisan founders to open a pub in Yorkshire: Husband-and-wife team Richard and Lindsey Johns, the former owners of the award-winning Artisan restaurant in Hessle, East Yorkshire, are to open a Yorkshire country pub. The pair are due to sign a free-of-tie lease on the Falcon Inn in the East Yorkshire village of Withernwick, around ten miles east of Beverley. It is just over a year since the3 Johns decided to close the 16-cover Artisan, which opened in December 2004. I it won several awards including being voted Best Restaurant 2010 in the Yorkshire Tourism awards, and Good Food Guide Restaurant of the Year for the north east of England in 2011.The Falcon Inn is due to open in early September.

Hall & Woodhouse installs beer tanks as part of brewery upgrade: Hall & Woodhouse has installed 16 beer tanks at its Blandford Badger brewery site, completing another milestone in the new brewery development programme. Head brewer Toby Heasman said: “The new tanks are different sizes, holding between 15,000 and 50,000 litres each. They will be used for the fermentation and maturation of Badger ales and this is another important stage of the journey of moving from the old brewery to the new one. As head brewer, this is a very satisfying part of the process, as it’s not often a brewer gets to take delivery of 16 vessels in one day.” In the next two weeks, there will be more developments as the wall and roof cladding is completed. Greendale, the building contractor, has also started to pour the concrete foundations for the new packaging hall, which will then be completed with a new steel-framed building.

New hotel opens in Nottingham: A new hotel, the St James, opened yesterday (23 July) on the site of the former Rutland Square hotel in Nottingham. The 87-bedroom property, which was bought a year ago, has been refurbished into a “contemporary” space with chandeliers and pink marble floors. There are four categories of bedroom, from “crash pads” for individual guests, up to the penthouse suite for up to four people. All have LCD televisions, in-room tea and coffee, free Wi-Fi, and toiletries from the White Company. The 650 sq ft penthouse bedroom also includes antique furniture, a baby grand piano, a Nespresso coffee machine, rain shower, and a hot tub in front of the television. The No6 bar has an extensive cocktail list, and there is also a library housing more than 400 books.

Waterstones to grow Café W chain to 30 sites as Costa closes in Bath: Costa Coffee is to close its cafe in the Waterstones bookshop on Milsom Street, Bath later in the summer, to be replaced by the book chain’s in-house coffee brand, Café W. A spokesman from Waterstones said: “This is one of a number we are opening over the summer to bring us to 30 Café Ws. They have been extremely successful. We continue also to have a large number of coffee shop partners operating within our shops, of which by far the largest number are Costa Coffee. We have a strong commercial relationship, but in a few locations, of which Bath is one, they have decided to leave and we have opened our own bookshop cafe.”

Vietnamese Kitchen adds fifth site: The Vietnamese dining restaurant group Vietnamese Kitchen is to open its fifth outlet, and the second in Soho, Central London, at 9 Poland Street. The new 1,157 sq ft restaurant, occupying the ground floor and basement, is on the corner of Poland Street and D’Arblay Street on the site of the former Burlington Cafe. Vietnamese Kitchen has taken an assignment of the existing lease at a rent of £55,000 a year. Vietnamese Kitchen’s other outlets are Viet Grill on Kingsland Road, in East London, Keu on Old Street, on the edge of the City, and two Cay Tre outlets, one also on Old Street and one on Dean Street in Soho. The new restaurant is to be named Keu Soho. Sally French, of Restaurant Property, who advised The Burlington Cafe, said: “This is a great location for office workers and tourists alike. The Vietnamese Kitchen offering of healthy, quick and reasonably priced food is very on trend.”

Three-in-one Glasgow nightclub comes to market: The leasehold interest in Cirque, Massa and Cellar Door, three nightclubs in Glasgow, is being marketed by the property agent Christie + Co for £175,000. The premises, which cover the ground floor and basement level, previously operated as one. However it now trades as a “3 in 1”, as Cirque, Massa and The Cellar Door. All three venues can be connected internally if chosen, but each attracts their own clientele because of their differing themes. Brian Sheldon, of Christie + Co’s Glasgow office, said: “These three venues bring lashings of glamour and an air of exclusivity to the Merchant City area.” 

Hummus Bros cookbook published: The London chain Hummus Bros has published its own cookbook, Levantine Kitchen. It contains Hummus Bros’ recipe collection, from “simple, family-friendly mezze dishes, to lunchable falafels and wraps, delicious desserts and thirst-quenching drinks”. It is available for £14.99 through Pavilion Books. Hummus Bros runs four restaurants in London, the first opening in 2005. Its hummus is made daily and served with toppings and warm pitta bread. 

Ex-Roka chef to open modern East Asian restaurant: A former Roka chef is to launch his own casual dining restaurant in Soho, Central London this September. Jan Lee is to launch the 50-cover Bo Drake, a “modern East Asian barbecue restaurant” with a Korean-style anju bar, in Greek Street. Lee, who previously worked as a chef de partie at Roka in 2010, said he plans to create a restaurant that reflects his Chinese heritage, British upbringing and extensive travels throughout East Asia. The menu will have an emphasis on smoked cooking methods, alongside more traditional sweet and pickled influences from South East Asia.

Town Centre Inns rolls out digital posters: Town Centre Inns has rolled out D-Media digital posters across its full stable of 19 venues, which include the Colby Arms in Crystal Palace, South London, the Castle in East Dulwich, South London and the Queen Elizabeth in Walworth, South London. The company said. “It was attractive to us to have a digital solution to traditional point-of-sale, which doesn’t always work in our venues. Campaigns running on the screens are expected to help drive sales, we will get 20% of the branded revenue and we can also display our own content which is a great way to publicise our own events and offers”. D-Media currently has contracts to supply 19-inch digital posters to nearly 1,000 outlets, with the ambition to be in 5,000 outlets by the end of 2016.

360 Champagne Bar lines up sixth site at Brent Cross: The 360 Champagne and Cocktail bar brand is to open its sixth site, on the upper mall of Brent Cross shopping centre in North London. The brand launched its first bar in the Trafford Centre, Manchester in July 2011, followed by the opening of sites at Metrocentre, Gateshead, and Braehead, Glasgow last year. Most recently it has opened bars in the Trinity Kitchen area of the Trinity shopping centre, Leeds and Intu Lakeside in Essex.

Property firm buys Yates’s Wine Lodge freehold: The freehold of a Yates’s Wine Lodge in Buckinghamshire has been bought in a deal worth £1.63m. The property investment company Custodian REIT has acquired the freehold interest of a public house on Frogmore Lane in High Wycombe. The property is let to the Stonegate Pub Company, trading as Yates’s Wine Lodge, on a 999-year lease subject to a tenant’s only break option in November 2026, giving an unexpired term of 12.3 years. The purchase was funded from the company’s existing credit facilities. Richard Shepherd-Cross, managing director of Custodian Capital, the company’s external fund manager, said: “In addition to the benefits of a long income stream from a very good covenant, we feel this purchase represents excellent value for money when considering the capital value of the building in this location.” Meanwhile, Stonegate has sold the Wheatsheaf, a landmark pub on Thornton Heath pond, South London. Manager Isabelle Kelly has been told the Wheatsheaf will not be turned into a supermarket, as a number of other pubs in Croydon have in recent years. “The pub is changing hands from Stonegate to another company,” she said. “It’s closing for a refurbishment. I don’t know in what form it’s reopening – a hotel, a bar, a restaurant – but I do know there are plans to reopen it.”

Pub fit-out firm hails contract wins with Wetherspoon, Greene King and Holt’s: The Oldham-based construction and fit-out specialist Medlock FRB has won five new jobs with three pub companies, JD Wetherspoon, Greene King and the Manchester-based brewer Joseph Holt. The contracts are in the north west of England, Yorkshire and Scotland and range in value from £500,000 to £1.5m. Medlock has been commissioned by Greene King to build and fit out two Hungry Horse pub-restaurants, one on the site of the former Royal Ordnance factory at Buckshaw Village, Chorley, Lancashire, and the other on the outskirts of Sheffield. Medlock is due to complete the projects in December and next February respectively. It has previously completed Hungry Horse projects in Rochdale, St Helens, Cleveleys in Lancashire, Wallsend on Tyneside, and another in Sheffield. This month, Medlock begin the conversion and fit-out of a former cinema in Morley, near Leeds, for Wetherspoon. The pub, which will be called the Picture House, will be completed in November. Its first project for Wetherspoon was converting units at the Rivergate Shopping Centre at Irvine, Ayrshire, into the Auld Brig pub. Holt’s has awarded Medlock a contract to build and fit out a new pub-restaurant at an £8m retail development in Warrington. The contract, on the site of the former Fordton Leisure Centre, is expected to be completed in October.

Malt-maker to craft brewery sector hails North Yorkshire take-over: Anglia Maltings, which owns Crisp Maltings, based in Fakenham, Suffolk, and supplies many of the UK’s craft brewers with their raw materials, has hailed its purchase of food and cereals manufacturer Micronized Food Products in Northallerton, with the company’s chief executive, David Thompson, saying Northallerton will “provide a valuable location to serve Crisp’s existing craft brewer customers in the area.” MFP, which also makes ingredients for the brewing industry, and processed cereals and pulses for animal feed and petfood manufacturers, posted a turnover of £11.5m in the year to 31 July 2013 and a pre-tax profit of £220,800.

Lincoln & York installs the UK’s largest coffee roaster: The leading UK coffee roasting company Lincoln & York has made history this month by installing the country’s largest coffee roaster at its North Lincolnshire HQ. The new 600-kilo Brambati drum roaster is now in operation and has almost doubled capacity, paving the way for further growth. James Sweeting, managing director of Lincoln & York said: “Our customer base has massively diversified over the last five years and our new roaster and contingency roastery are just two of the ways we are responding to this and preparing for future growth. We work with a range of different sized businesses across the out-of-home, foodservice, wholesale, vending and specialist retail markets. This new roaster will allow us to fulfill high volume orders for our largest national and international customers, increasing capacity across our other roasting equipment.”

Former Mitchells & Butlers retail director joins YO! Sushi board: Paul Reynolds has been appointed to join the executive board at YO! Sushi as operations director, responsible for the operations team, facilities and health and safety. Reynolds was previously based in Moscow working for Rosinter Restaurants. He held the position of vice president of human resources, and was promoted to chief operating in October 2013. He oversaw the development of large-scale international brands including the Japanese inspired Planeta Sushi, with a managed and franchised estate of circa 115, and the Italian concept Il Patio, with 135 sites. He was also involved in large-scale franchised brands including TGI Friday’s, Costa Coffee and McDonald’s. Prior to this, he was retail director at All Bar One and Alex Cafe and Bars in Germany. He has also worked as human resources director at the contract caterer Elior UK, Carphone Warehouse, and the London bar and restaurant operator Novus Leisure. The chief executive of YO! Sushi, Vanessa Hall, said: “Paul’s arrival comes at a time when YO! Sushi is re-doubling its focus on our people and looking to delight our guests further through a broader range of meal opportunities. I’ve known Paul for a number of years. His drive, energy and experience in big-scale branded operations means he will be invaluable as we drive ahead with our exciting growth plans.” YO! Sushi recently opened its 70th UK restaurant in Baker Street, Central London, which is the fifth of ten planned restaurant openings in 2014. YO! Sushi’s footprint includes ten international franchises, in the Middle East, Ireland and Scandinavia, and the restaurant group plans to open 50 restaurants in the United States over the next six years.

 
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