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Wed 1st Apr 2015 - Vini Italiani launches crowdfunding
Vini Italiani launches crowdfunding: Vini Italiani, the award-winning Italian wine bar and wine merchant, has launched a crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs, looking to raise £250,000 in return for 11.63% of its equity – so far, £50,060 has been pledged. The pitch states: “The company has been operational since the end of 2011 when we opened our store in South Kensington. In 2013, we launched our website at the enviable internet address www.italianwines.com, launched our wholesale operation in London and added the wine bar to the store at the end of the year. We have also become a main supplier of Italian wines to Ocado, where we run our own-branded “shop in the shop”. The company has already achieved some important results: we have built a very loyal customer base and have already been recognised as the undisputed leading Italian wine merchant in the UK. In only two years we have gone from just over 20,000 bottles sold in year one to 100,000 and just shy of £1 million in revenue in 2014. Now that we have fine-tuned our format (wine + food + retail) we are ready to open more wine bars/stores in Central London. This would generate economies of scale thanks to centralised costs for administration, marketing and logistics. This funding round would help us open a new location in a key strategic location (depending on availability and price): the City, Mayfair, Covent Garden or Marylebone. We are now ready to open a new location in London as we have the platform, experience and resources to easily replicate the successful wine bar in South Kensington. We have pretty much everything ready (branding, menus, wines, uniforms, formats, online presence, etc). We need to find a suitable location, carry out the refurbishment works and open for business. This investment is in the whole company and not just in the new wine bar. This means you will participate in any future growth from any of the activities the company will develop.” Chairman Matteo Berlucchi, who owns 15% of the company pre-investment, and managing director Bruno Cernecca, who owns 5% of the company pre-investment, have both pledged £25,000. Italian wines are the fastest growing segment in the wine industry in the UK. The market share has grown from 14.97% in 2012 to 16.85% in 2013 principally to the detriment of French wines (dropped from 38. 22% to 35. 53%). The total value of Italian wines imported in the UK in 2013 was £534,000,000 (France £1,126,000,000 and Australia £288,000,000). Anyone investing a minimum of £2,000 will enjoy a shareholder discount of 20% on the company’s range of products and services including wine, events, wine bar lunches or dinners, online orders, wine trips for as long as shares are held.

TCG set to return to London after £1.5m refit: Managed pub and bar operator TCG is preparing for the return to London of its flagship site, the Tattershall Castle floating bar and restaurant, after a £1.5 million refurbishment in Hull. The popular drinking and dining destination, usually moored opposite the London Eye, has been in Hull since early January. It has been given a complete exterior and interior refurbishment and returns to its berth with a brand new look and improved facilities. TCG chief operating officer Nigel Wright said: “We are more than delighted with the final result of this development, which has been several years in the planning and execution. Refurbishing the Tattershall Castle has been unlike any other development I’ve worked on – you don’t usually have to factor in the quantity of steel required and maritime tidal patterns. We brought the Tattershall Castle back to Hull for the work because the city’s shipyards are renowned for their quality of workmanship, and they haven’t disappointed on this project. It was also fitting because the boat was originally a ferry across the Humber, and judging by the warm response in Hull to its return, many local people hold fond memories of the ‘Tatts’ from those days.” TCG is thanking Hull for its welcome by offering anyone from the city a free pint of beer if they come on board the Tattershall Castle between May and August. The new look Tattershall Castle will offer customers an enhanced experience throughout. New ‘cabins’ – private booths in the main lounge – can be pre-booked for drinks and meals, while the redeveloped Club Room-‘Steamers’ will once again host the Comedy Boat Show, with improved facilities for the performers, more areas for private parties and plans for a licence for weddings and civil ceremonies. Wright added: “The Tattershall Castle is a London landmark, known and loved not just at home but around the world. We are delighted to have completed this refurbishment and look forward to welcoming the tens of thousands of customers who come on board every year for great food and drink, and one of the finest views of the Thames in the capital.” 

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