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Fri 12th Feb 2016 - Update: Costa, SA Brain, Cote, Greene King, PizzaExpress, Young's, JDW
Domino’s franchisees buy Costa Coffee franchisee: Purple World, which operates ten Costa Coffee outlets across Cumbria and Lancashire, has been bought by private investors with existing businesses in food retail brands such as Domino’s and Nando’s in a multimillion-pound deal. Seller Kay Berry was one of the pioneering Costa Coffee franchisees globally, opening the first store in Fleetwood in October 2005 after leaving a career in local government. The buyer, Red and Racz, was set up to make the acquisition by Mike Racz and Arvi Salariya who both already operate Domino’s franchises in the UK. Racz also has property, fitness and social media management businesses while Salariya has a majority stake in three Nando’s branches in Delhi and operates IT/technology equipment and video games businesses. Berry said: “The decision to become a Costa franchisee was not easy. I had been offered a significant promotion by my employer and the Costa opportunity was, at that time, just a fledgling concept that was largely unproven. The decision was right however and I have thoroughly enjoyed building Purple World into a leading business in the now iconic Costa brand.” The deal was initiated, and full deal management services were provided to the seller, by the corporate finance division of Midlands-based accountancy and business advisory firm Smith Cooper. John Farnsworth, head of corporate finance at Smith Cooper, said: “I am delighted to have secured an exit for Kay and have no doubt Mike and Arvi will be very good for both Purple World and the Costa brand.” Costa Coffee, which is owned by Whitbread, now has approximately 1,900 stores of which 40% are franchised.

Coffee#1 opens 60th coffee house: Coffee chain Coffee#1, which is owned by Cardiff-based SA Brain, has opened its 60th coffee house in the market town of Bridport. It is the third opening this year, following Hereford and Swindon in January. Coffee#1 is geared up for an aggressive opening program in 2016 and is on track to open 15 planned sites. Operations manager Jo Hamilton-Welsman said: “2016 is set to be another busy year for Coffee#1. With three openings complete, we have a number of exciting openings already in the pipeline. Our team of baristas are intent on enabling more customers to experience the unique Coffee#1 offer which saw us named as Café Life’s Coffee Chain of the year winner. Coffee#1 has been very well-received in Hereford and we are delighted to secure the perfect location for our coffee house in Bridport.”

JD Wetherspoon submits £2.6m plans for Dovercourt site: JD Wetherspoon has submitted plans for a town centre site in Dovercourt (population: 9,600), near Harwich, Essex. More than £2.6m would be spent on the former Co-op site in Kingsway, Dovercourt, which the company acquired last year. JD Wetherspoon has applied to Tendring Council to convert the use of the building and is considering restoring some of the features that have fallen into disrepair, with the site left untouched for more than a decade. Above the ground-floor pub there would be nine hotel rooms, changing rooms, toilets and a staff room. A garden and smoking area to the rear of the building are also part of the plans. Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon told the Daily Gazette: “We are aiming to spend more than £2.6m on the refurbishment project, creating 50-plus jobs in the process. We are very keen to open the pub and hotel and believe it will be a great asset to the town and hopefully act as a catalyst for other businesses to invest in the area.”

Gino D’Acampo and Individual Restaurants to open second D’Acampo – My Restaurant at Euston station on Monday: Italian chef and television personality Gino D’Acampo is to start expanding his fast-casual dining concept in partnership with Individual Restaurants, Gino D’Acampo – My Restaurant, by opening a second site at Euston station in London on Monday (15 February). Showcasing D’Acampo’s vast contacts across the diverse regions of Italy, the restaurant’s menu includes a variety of favourites from both D’Acampo’s books and television programmes using top quality, seasonal artisan ingredients. The restaurant will be open from 7am-11pm Monday to Saturday and 8am-9pm on Sundays. D’Acampo and Individual Restaurants opened the first Gino D’Acampo – My Restaurant at The Corn Exchange in Manchester in December. D’Acampo, who also has My Pasta Bar to his name, with three branches in London, said at the time he has his eye on more sites around the country and internationally for the new concept.

BrewDog to launch new bar concept, takes foray into sour beer market: Scottish brewer and retailer BrewDog is to launch a new bar concept as it forays into the sour beer market. The company will open its first Hopworks in Dalston, London, in the spring. It stated: “We have now secured a site for another of our epic programmes for 2016 – our foray into the joys of sour beers. To fully unleash wild fermentation and sour barrel ageing, a dedicated location is needed, and we have an area pinpointed for construction of our BrewDog sours facility. The base beer will be brewed at our Ellon brewhouse and then taken to this building (in Dalston) ready for the bacteria, the wood and (above all) the time to work their magic. The craft beer scene in London is surging like nowhere else, so it is the perfect place for the unveiling of a new type of BrewDog bar. In the spring, this art deco factory in Dalston will reopen as our first Hopworks – a huge bar and BottleDog with a very special addition. For hire, eight pilot kits that can be booked by anybody wanting to brew their own beer and learn more about the art and science of brewing whilst enjoying the very freshest craft beer as they go!”

Cote gains gluten-free accreditation from UK charity: French brasserie Cote has earned accreditation for its gluten-free menu from charity Coeliac UK. Cote becomes the first French restaurant group to earn the accreditation. About 1% of people in the UK suffer from coeliac disease, with many others following a gluten-free diet, the charity said. Cote said its gluten-free menu was similar to its a la carte menu and that to prevent cross-contamination, frites were cooked in a separate fryer. Cote also offers a gluten-free breakfast menu. Alex Scrimgeour, Cote chief executive, said gluten-free dining was a subject close to his heart as his wife has coeliac disease. He said: “We wanted to ensure coeliacs would feel safe dining with us and the accreditation will be a great help.” Sarah Sleet, chief executive of Coeliac UK, said: “We know eating out safely is a top concern for people with coeliac disease, who must follow a strict gluten-free diet for life. We are delighted Cote is recognising the importance of catering for this market by gaining accreditation for its separate gluten-free menu.” Cote operates more than 70 restaurants in the UK.

New continental-style beer cafe concept opens in Wakefield, owners plan series of sites in West Yorkshire: A new continental-style beer cafe concept has opened in Wakefield with its owners planning a series of sites in West Yorkshire. The Wakefield Beer Exchange has been launched in the Bull Ring by Yorkshire businessmen Jon Foulger, Paul Marshall, Mark Seaman and Andrew Helm, who are all craft beer enthusiasts. The bar has more than 80 beers in casks and keg as well as in bottles and cans along with a range of wines and artisan gins. The Beer Exchange will also serve beverages from Leeds-based North Star Coffee Roasters and Birdhouse Tea Company in Sheffield. The entrepreneurs have big plans for the concept, with hopes it will be the first in a series across the region. Foulger told The Business Desk: “We want to establish ourselves, not only as the place to go to get the best drinks around, but as a hub for some exciting events by playing our part in showcasing the great things that Wakefield has to offer. We’re really keen that the bar becomes part of the fantastic Indie community that’s building up around the city, and we will be displaying exhibitions of local artists’ works and playing great music.” 

Bundobust set to open Manchester venue: Indian street food kitchen and craft beer bar Bundobust is set to open its Manchester venue in the spring. The company, which has a site in Leeds, has applied for planning permission to open a site in Piccadilly. The concept is a collaboration between acclaimed vegetarian restaurant Prashad, which was runner-up in Gordon Ramsay’s Best Restaurant TV series in 2010, and The Sparrow Bier Cafe in Bradford. Offerings include small dishes such as vada pav – fried spicy mashed potato coated in gram flour and served in a brioche bun – and bundo chaat, a cold snack made with samosa pastry, turmeric noodles, chickpeas, potato, tamarind chutney and yoghurt. Bundobust will serve beers from local breweries, such as Huddersfield’s Magic Rock, and those from further afield, the Manchester Evening News reported.

Greene King chairman designate buys shares in company: Greene King's chairman designate Philip Yea has bought 30,000 shares in the company for nearly £258,000. He joined the board last week ahead of the retirement of chairman Tim Bridge who is due to step down in May when Yea will take up the role.

Tiffin Room set to open second Manchester venue: Indian street food restaurant Tiffin Room is set to open its second venue in Manchester. The brand, which has a venue in Chapel Street, Cheadle, catering for about 35 to 40 covers, is putting the finishing touches to a new, larger unit in First Street, next to the recently developed ‘Home’ arts centre. The Manchester Evening News said the glass-fronted venue would open soon, with room for 90 to 100 diners and extra seating outside. The new restaurant will also have a bar, serving cocktails infused with Indian spices and herbs, as well as a bigger kitchen, and will launch a lunchtime menu in addition to the a la carte evening menu. 

PizzaExpress opens new restaurant in Andover: PizzaExpress has opened a new site in Andover, Hampshire. The company has launched the 3,000 square foot restaurant on the ground floor of the Star and Garter Hotel in the High Street having signed a 25-year lease, creating 30 jobs, reports the Andover Advertiser. The letting was made by agent Savills and director in the licensed leisure team Adam Bullas previously said: “Securing PizzaExpress, a very popular and successful tenant and brand, is a great move for The Star and Garter Hotel as it will be an added attraction for staying guests. It will also provide the Andover community with a new and exciting place to wine and dine.”

Young’s to replace Charles Wells’ wine arm with new wine and spirits supplier: London pub retailer Young’s is to replace Charles Wells’ wine arm Cockburn & Campbell (C&C) with a new wine and spirits supplier after the existing agreement expired. Young’s has awarded the contract to Berkmann Wine Cellars, which is expected to take over the supply from the start of April. The deal includes about 250 pubs that were formerly supplied by C&C, which became the wine division for Young’s and Charles Wells when the two companies merged in 2006, and became wholly owned by Charles Wells when it purchased the Young’s share in 2011. When the most recent supply agreement with C&C expired, Young’s put this out to tender, awarding the contract to Berkmann. The Young’s 2015 annual report states: “We regularly review our choice of suppliers.” Charles Wells commercial director Peter Wells told Imbibe: “We’re disappointed that our contract to supply wines and spirits to the Young’s pub estate will not be renewed after the existing agreement expires and we expect the business to be transferred at the beginning of April. Our relationship with Young’s is in good health and will continue with the supply of beers into their estate and the guardianship of the Young’s beer brands which are brewed at our Bedford brewery.” Young’s confirmed the change in supplier, but declined to comment further.

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