Northern restaurant chain nets £3.5m to fund roll-outs

Filmore & Union

A northern-based chain of restaurants and delis has secured a £3.5m investment from BGF to accelerate its new site roll-out.

Filmore & Union, which currently operates 14 sites and recently opened a concession in John Lewis, will use the funding to expand its portfolio across the North of England and the Midlands.

Created in 2012 by Adele Ashley, the business serves a menu of fresh and seasonal food and drinks using local produce to create energising breakfasts and lunches, as well as gluten-free cakes. The business was voted one the Sunday Times’ Top Three UK health eateries in 2016.

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Starting from a single site in York, Filmore & Union now runs restaurants across Yorkshire including Ilkley, Harrogate, Beverley, Skipton and Wetherby, as well as food to go delis in Newcastle and York train stations.

The business successfully raised £865,000 on Crowdcube in 2015 and today generates revenues of more than £6m.

In addition to the investment, Kevin Bacon will join the company as non-executive chair, following an introduction by BGF. Bacon is a former managing director of Frankie & Benny’s and Jamie’s Italian and has deep knowledge of the North-West region, the next area of focus for the roll-out.

Filmore & Union joins a growing number of regional and national restaurant brands backed by BGF including Bar Soba, which has opened a site in Leeds, Barburrito and Giggling Squid.

BGF is the most active investor in small and mid-sized businesses in the UK. It boasts a £2.5bn war-chest to support a range of growing companies – early stage, growth stage and quoted – across every region and sector of the economy.

The investment into Filmore & Union was led by BGF’s Chris Boyes and Mike Clarke, who are based in Leeds.

Filmore & Union’s Adele Ashley explained: “We believe there is a very clear market opportunity to expand the Filmore & Union portfolio. We have built a loyal customer base who feel an affinity to the brand and share our passion for eating well. We have built the business in Yorkshire and the North East and are excited to expand the brand across the North of England.”

Ashley said that the company had “a number” of other financial options, but BGF’s long-term approach and broader network swayed its decision to partner with the fund.

 

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