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Mon 17th Nov 2014 - Update: Hummus Bros, Marston's, Bill's, JDW, Chop'd
Hummus Bros launches bond to raise £375,000: Hummus Bros, the London-based chain serving healthy Mediterranean food, founded by Christian Moutsset and Ronen Givon, has launched a bond on Crowd2Fund to raise £375,000. The bond pays 8% interest and is for 60 months. The bond will allow three more high street branches to open as well as support the continuing expansion of its network of pop-ups, doubling the size of the business. Hummus Bros, founded in August 2005, has served close to 2,000,000 Londoners over the past nine years. In March 2014, Jon Hassall, previously UK operations director of Patisserie Valerie, joined the business and has helped rebrand all the current units, pushing sales up 33% year-on-year and the restaurant EBITDA up 413%. Christian Mouysset said “This is a perfect time to expand our business given that we have spare capacity in our central kitchen and sales in our high street branches with the new branding are growing strongly.” Hummus Bros has chosen Crowd2Fund as a partner to issue this bond as they have a large network of high net worth individuals that have shown interest in this type of offering. Hassall added: “There are some good sites available in central London in areas that don’t have any healthy Mediterranean food offers such as ours.” To invest in the Hummus Bros Bond visit:

Marston’s secures consent for 14th Scottish new–build site: Marston’s has secured licensing and planning for its 14th site in Scotland. The company has seven sites now open in Scotland and five further sites fully consented in terms of licensing and planning (and due to open in the next 12 months). Today, the North Ayrshire Licensing Board approved plans for a 180 cover pub restaurant on a site (adjacent to the A78) which Marston’s is ‘developing out’ with plans also for a 27 bed lodge, separate coffee shop, fast food outlet and a small parade of leisure/retail units (to be operated by others). The Licensing Board had adopted a restrictive over-provision policy but anxieties to see the overall development move forward outweighed concerns about the area in general. Solicitors John Gaunt appeared for Marston’s.

Bill’s set for Leicester Highcross: Developer Hammerson has announced that Bill’s is to open at Highcross shopping centre in Leicester, marking its debut in Hammerson’s portfolio of retail and leisure destinations. Bill’s Restaurant has taken a 26,900m² (2,500ft²) site on the ground floor and will open in early 2015. Commenting on the latest addition to Highcross, Sarah Fox, head of specialty leasing at Hammerson, said: “Bill’s Restaurant is a great addition to our line-up of leading dining brands. They add something different to the offer that complements the range of global cuisine already available. Bill’s Restaurant is a great addition to our dining offer at Highcross, and we are also very pleased to welcome Bill’s to the Hammerson portfolio.” Bill Collison, founder of Bill’s, added: “We are delighted to be opening a restaurant at Highcross, and joining an already eclectic mix of shops and restaurants. The location means we can expect a high footfall throughout the day, which is just what we like with our all day offering. We are looking forward to creating a space with plenty of Bill’s hallmarks – cosy booths and sharing tables, candles and chandeliers – a great space for shoppers to take a break any time of day.” Bill’s takes the total number of restaurants in Highcross in St Peter’s Square, Highcross’ dedicated catering quarter to 19, joining brands such as Carluccio’s, PizzaExpress, Coast-to-Coast and handmade burger Co, in creating the largest concentration of high quality dining brands in the region.

Wetherspoon buys Dublin suburb nightclub site: JD Wetherspoon has purchased a former nightclub in Blanchardstown, a large suburb of Dublin with a population of 68,156. The company has purchased The Light Nightclub in Westend Shopping Park, Westend Commercial Village. It will be investing more than €3 million developing the site. Wetherspoon has planning and licensing permission to develop the former nightclub into a pub. It still requires planning permission in order to undertake development work in the garden. The company opened its first pub in the Republic of Ireland, in Blackrock in July and will be opening its second pub in the Republic in Dun Laoghaire on 16 December. It has also acquired a site in Swords. At present the Blanchardstown and Swords sites do not have on site or opening dates. Wetherspoon chief executive John Hutson said: “We are delighted to have purchased our new property in Blanchardstown and to open it as a Wetherspoon pub in due course.”

Chop’d to open in CityPoint on Moorgate: Chop’d, the fresh food takeaway specialist, is to open its tenth London site early next month in the CityPoint building in Moorgate. The outlet, on the ground floor of CityPoint, on Ropemaker Street, will be open all day from 7am until the evening, selling hot porridge and house-made muesli from 7am to 10.30am. Eddie Holmes, managing director of Chop’d, said: “We’re very excited about opening in Moorgate. Many of our sites, including Canary Wharf and St Paul’s, are in the business hubs of London and doing very well. Customers in these areas want something quick and accessible whilst not sacrificing on quality.” Chop’d currently claims to sell more than 20,000 salads a week as well as thousands of stews, soups and wraps.

Bain Capital and Fresh Direct launch new fresh food company: Fresh Direct and Bain Capital, the owners of Brakes, have unveiled a new company that will bring together three of Bain Capital’s fresh food businesses – M&J Seafood, Pauleys and Wild Harvest – with Fresh Direct. The new company will be jointly owned by Bain Capital and Nigel Harris. Current Fresh Direct owners Nigel and Colin Harris will continue to take an active role in the future success of the company which will create an ‘all-in-one’ fresh food destination for chefs and caterers – for their produce, fish and seafood, meat and exclusive fine dining product requirements. The new company and management team will be led by David Burns, the current managing director of Fresh Direct, who will become chief executive of the new company, which will also operate under the Fresh Direct name, with M&J, Pauleys and Wild Harvest also retaining their brand names. Fresh Direct was first established as a family business, when John Harris, Nigel and Colin’s father, established local greengrocer ‘H&H Fruiterers’, with then-business partner Bill Hawkins, nearly 50 years ago. From its roots as a small shop in Bicester, making deliveries from the back of an Austin three-tonne lorry, the family business has grown, to become the market leader in ‘Fresh’ that it is today. John Harris said: “I’m incredibly proud of our family business! We’ve come such a long way since we started out in 1966 and I think that this new venture is exactly the right deal for Fresh Direct, our staff and our customers to take us into the next chapter of our story.” Ken McMeikan, Brakes Group CEO, added: “I am delighted to be entering into this joint venture with Fresh Direct, because of the significant opportunities this will create for customers in what is the fastest growing part of the foodservices market.”

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