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Tue 9th May 2023 - Exclusive: US franchise coffee concept identifies more than 250 potential UK locations
Exclusive – US franchise coffee concept identifies more than 250 potential UK locations: US franchise coffee concept Raining Berries has said it has identified more than 250 potential UK locations. It comes after Propel revealed in November that the company, which was founded in 2018 by Bimal Bhojani, is aiming to open its first UK site in 2023 and sees 20-40 openings here over the next two to three years as its entry into Europe. With 20 US sites either open, under construction or signed for, Bhojani said at the time that he is eyeing similar numbers in the UK, initially targeting high-end towns with a younger demographic rather than major cities. “It’s grown a lot quicker than I anticipated, and I think if we can get into the UK market, we’ll take Europe by storm,” he said. "If we can get 20-40 sold in groups of five within two to three years, with eight to ten franchisees, the rest will be organic growth and give us the exposure for mainland Europe, which I anticipate happening fairly quickly.” Raining Berries offers franchises in cafe and large cafe formats, with initial franchise fees of £19,500, and promising a return on investment within two years. Raining Berries features in the Propel UK Food and Beverage Franchisor Database. The latest edition, which was sent to Premium subscribers last month, featured 200 companies and more than 93,000 words. Companies can now have an unlimited number of people receive access to Propel Premium for a year for £995 plus VAT – whether they are an operator or a supplier. The single subscription rate is £495 plus VAT for operators and £595 plus VAT for suppliers. Email to upgrade your subscription.

Exclusive – Shane Kavanagh appointed BaxterStorey regional MD: Shane Kavanagh has left his position as commercial director of Benugo to join sister business BaxterStorey, the contract catering company, as regional managing director, Propel has learned. Kavanagh first joined Benugo, the operator of deli cafes and catering in high-profile venues, in 2004 and spent a decade as operations director, followed by just under two years as managing director. He left in 2016 to join healthy food and juice brand Crussh as chief executive, leading its rebranding and transformation into a multi-channel brand. Kavanagh then returned to Benugo as commercial director in 2020 but has now been appointed regional director for London at BaxterStorey. Westbury Street Holdings (WSH) is the parent company for both brands. Noel Mahony, WSH executive director, told Propel: “I am delighted Shane has chosen to remain within WSH and taken up this new position within the business. We will continue to work closely with Shane and his team as we collaborate on new market opportunities.”

Exclusive – Cardiff-based gastropub operator Knife and Fork Food places sites on the market: Knife and Fork Food, which operates a collection of gastropubs based in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan, has placed its six leasehold sites on the market. The business, which is led by Sharon Noakes, Sean Murphy and Serge Luceau, has appointed EJ Hales to market the sites, which are available as a whole group or individually. The sites comprise The Conway in Pontcanna, where there is five years remaining on a free of tie lease, with a passing rent of £92,569; The Discovery near Roath Park, where there is approximately 11 years remaining on a free of tie lease at a passing rent of £100,256; The Old Swan in Llantwit Major, where there's eight years remaining on a free of tie lease at a passing rent of £30,000; The Pilot in Penarth, where there is nine years remaining on the lease at a passing rent of £34,100. The Sully Inn in Sully, where there is seven years remaining on a free of tie lease at a passing rent of £36,000; and 29 Park Place in Cardiff city centre, where there is approximately 15 years left on the lease at a passing rent of £40,000. For the year ending May 2023, Knife and Fork Food reported turnover including VAT of £3,062,169, with gross profit of £1,773,571. EJ Hales said of the businesses: “They are well established in the areas that they operate and offer a huge opportunity to continue its growth throughout South Wales and beyond.”

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