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Fri 5th Dec 2014 - Update: Gail's, Wimpy, London Fields, Greene King and Starbucks
Bread Holdings doubles profits: Bread Holdings, the company that owns Gail’s Artisan Bakery and wholesaler The Bread Factory and where Luke Johnson’s Risk Capital Partners holds a substantial stake, has reported turnover rose to £36,085,000 in the year to 28 February 2014, up from £27,691,270 the year before. Pre-tax profit was £2.71m compared to £1.38m the year before. The company stated: “Both businesses have exceeded their sales targets for the year. Over the past three years group turnover has grown by an average of 33% each year, with average growth in Gail’s of 36% and The Bread Factory of 21%. The strong like-for-like sales growth within the core retail bakeries and within the wholesale business has been supported by operational improvements across the group along with new bakery openings, resulting in group operating profit growth of £3.1m during the period.” Gail’s Limited reported pre-tax profit of £561,275 in the year to 28 February 2014 compared to a loss of £109,615 the year before. Turnover climbed to £14,066,399 compared to £10,185,640 in the year prior. Ebitda was £1,380,578 compared to £668,566. The Bread Factory part of the business saw turnover of £24,775,00, up from £20,298,000 the year before. The company reported risk within the Bread Factory had been mitigated by the leasehold acquisition of three new units on the same industrial estate as the existing bakery. Turnover has now almost doubled since 2012 when it was £20.4m and the company made a loss of £115,824

Wimpy Restaurants turnover down, profit up: Wimpy Restaurants UK, which is owned by Famous Brands, has reported pre-tax profit of £845,682 in the year to 28 February 2014, up from £606,660 the year before. Turnover declined to £5,835,025 compared to £6,240,341 the year before. The company employs only 11 staff in the UK – its restaurant estate is all franchised.

London Fields boss arrested on suspicion of tax evasion: A convicted cocaine smuggler who runs London Fields Brewery has been arrested on suspicion of tax evasion after a dawn raid at his home. Jules de Vere Whiteway-Wilkinson was detained after officers from HM Revenue and Customs arrived at his house in Stoke Newington to question him about allegations that he has been failing to pay VAT at the London Fields Brewery. Officers also raided the brewery, which Whiteway-Wilkinson has run since his release from a 12-year prison sentence imposed in 2004 for his role as the leader of a cocaine-smuggling gang that supplied drugs to celebrities and music industry figures. The brewery and adjoining “tap room” temporarily closed after the raid and all five beers listed for sale on its website were described today as “out of stock”. A spokeswoman for the brewery told the London Evening Standard: “London Fields Brewery and Jules Whiteway regret the action taken by HM Revenue and Customs. The company remains an operational and growing business.”

Greene King to open boutique hotel in south-east London on Monday: Greene King’s Metropolitan Pub Company division is to open the Tulse Hill Hotel on Monday (8 December) in south east London. The boutique hotel has undergone a circa £1.5 million renovation that has returned it to “its former glory with great care, thought and sympathy towards its heritage”. The hotel will boast nine distinctive bedrooms as well as a restaurant, private dining room seating up to 14 people, chef’s table, which will host up to five guests, a bar and lounge area and landscaped garden with seating area. The exterior retains much of the architectural detail, maintaining the original signage and copper lanterns, whilst the interior features design aspects such as wooden parquet flooring, classic black and white tiling, wooden panelling and a reclaimed 1920’s bar. The bar will offer six rotating ales with a focus on London cask producers and ten draft products, including guest lagers such as Camden Pilsner and Truman’s Pale Ale. Additionally, there is an extensive wine list that focuses on organic and biodynamic wines. The Tulse Hill Hotel is home to neighbourhood restaurant where head chef Daniel Stevens (River Cottage, L’atelier des Chefs) will be taking the helm. The kitchen boasts an open design, featuring robata grill and rotisserie. Stevens’s menu will focus on seasonal British ingredients and will include dishes such as the LA Grand Central Market burger (inspired by the chef’s recent travels), sea bass, pork belly and celeriac and lemon tart.

Starbucks reveals more details on 15,000 square foot ‘Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room’: Starbucks has unveiled more details of its 15,000 square foot ‘Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room’, which opened today in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle. The ‘interactive retail experience’ is dedicated to roasting, coffee education and increasing availability of the company’s small-lot Reserve coffees – every Reserve coffee bean sold to customers will be roasted in this facility. The consolidation of small-batch roasting will allow the company to expand its Reserve coffee line to 1,500 locations globally, as well as open at least 100 stores designed to highlight these rare coffees exclusively starting in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington DC. An additional Roastery is planned for Asia in 2016. “This Roastery is the fulfillment of a decade-long dream – an homage to our relentless pursuit of coffee innovation that will create for our customers the most immersive, sensory demonstration of how we source, roast and craft the finest coffee from around the world,” said Howard Schultz, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Starbucks. “Everything we’ve ever done has led us to this point. This is the moment of the next generation of Starbucks.” The Roastery is 15,000 square feet with 6,654 square feet devoted to the Starbucks Café and Tasting Room designed to have 360-degree views from any vantage point within the space. The new facility will allow Starbucks to double the number of its Reserve offerings over the coming year. A projected 1.4 million pounds of small-lot coffee will be roasted in the first year at the Roastery, which will supply all of the Reserve coffee store needs around the world. Starbucks has teamed up with acclaimed Seattle chef, Tom Douglas – his local approach to food will be showcased at the Roastery with fresh-out-of-the-oven, seasonal pizzas from the Serious Pie restaurant inside the building, or the pastries, sandwiches, salads and sweets offered in the Roastery café. “We have designed a space that will heighten all the senses. This is a real-life Willy Wonka experience with coffee as the heart and soul, where customers will see coffee being moved through the roasting process right before their eyes,” said Liz Muller, vice president of Concept Design for Starbucks. “We have opened up the world of sourcing, roasting and brewing so that our customers at any one point are only feet away from the theatre and artistry in a sophisticated yet relaxed environment. Each visit will bring new discoveries while setting the standard for what customers can expect for the future of retail.”

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