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Tue 26th Jun 2018 - Hummus Brothers goes into administration
Hummus Brothers goes into administration: Hummus Brothers has become the latest sector company to go into administration. In a note to customers on its website, the six-strong company wrote: “It is with a heavy heart we write this note to you. As you may have read in the press, a number of brands have been going through tough times on the high street. Like them, we have experienced a perfect storm of rising costs, reduced demand and oversupply in the market. The combination of the pound falling after the Brexit vote, which pushed up the cost of our raw ingredients as well as property rents and business rates going up ever higher, make the high street a very difficult place to operate in at this time. For the past 12 months, we explored ways to pivot away from the high street and investigated opportunities of working in canteens of large corporates as well as taking on vans, which can operate in street food markets and festivals. We also worked with a specialist to help us launch a supermarket product in one of the major UK operators. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, the business didn’t generate enough cash to keep running until we changed course so, very reluctantly and sadly, we had to close the business. Thank you so much for 13 wonderful years of business! It has been a great and unforgettable ride.” Ben Woodthorpe and Simon Harris, of Resolve Group UK, have been appointed as joint administrators. Hummus Brothers was founded in 2005 by Christian Mouysset and Ronen Givon. It has sites in Eastcheap, Exmouth Market, Grays Inn Road, Holborn, Soho and St Paul’s. Last year, the company raised more than £125,000 from investors on equity crowdfunding site Seedrs at a valuation of £9m. The fund-raising page, which is still live, said Hummus Brothers would open more high-street locations and operate more canteen operations with the money. However, the number of sites remained at six for a year following the round. According to the information on Seedrs, the company had a £176,000 bond repayable in 2020. The pitch states: “Over the past few years we have observed the popularity of Mediterranean food, and hummus in particular, increase significantly. We have been making our food available by first opening high-street restaurants and more recently directly in canteens of large offices around London. In 2016 we turned over £2.59m from our six restaurant locations, pop-ups in corporate restaurants and deliveries to offices around London. We hope to increase our turnover over the next 12 months by opening one or two more high-street locations and increasing the number of pop-ups we operate. We have opened six branches over the past ten years, which have cost as low as £75,000 to acquire and refurbish (depending on the size of unit and rent). We would expect to use up to £125,000 of the proceeds to open one more branch. The maximum we will seek is £500,000, in which case we will open up to four more branches (£400,000) and move forward with a launch of Hummus Bros-branded products in supermarkets. The business currently has a £25,000 bank loan as well as a £176,000 bond repayable in 2020. None of the funds raised will be used to repay these debts.”

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