Fred Sirieix welcomes FINCA, a Cuban street-food brand, and Wholesome Junkies, a local vegan junk-food idea, to Manchester. FINCA is looking to secure £150,000 to open in their home town Liverpool before rolling out nationally. Wholesome Junkies is after £95,000 to open in Manchester.
FINCA was set up in the summer of 2016 and now trades in Liverpool's Baltic Market. Founders Oli, Joe and Michael believe that Cuban street food could follow the success of brands like Wahaca. Their signature dish, a grilled Cuban sandwich called a Cubano, filled with meat, mustard, cheese and pickle, sells for £7. They also make their own marinades, pickles, sauces and syrups, so there is scope for additional revenue streams, in addition to the food and drinks. FINCA proves to be popular, with interest from four investors, including Lydia Forte, of the five-star Rocco Forte Hotels group, who is looking for new ideas to fit into her luxury hotels. She normally works with Michelin-starred chefs, and has openings in London, Edinburgh and Berlin. Also interested are Darrel Connell, partner with IMBIBA Partnership, an investment group that specialises in backing and growing high-end bar and restaurant ideas, Jeremy Roberts, CEO of Living Ventures, a northern-based restaurant-and-bar group with an annual turnover in excess of £100million, and Tim Gee, property director with Allied London, an award-winning property development and investment company. Tim is tasked with finding new restaurant ideas for their estates in Manchester.
Chelsea Campbell, from Manchester, worked as a waitress and front of house for eight years before setting up Wholesome Junkies nine months ago. After turning vegetarian three years ago, she read veggie cookbooks and watched documentaries about the ethics of the food industry, turning her vegan. Once she started making her own nut milks, vegan butters and cheese she knew she was on to a 'bloody tasty' thing. Her best-selling fried cauliflower burger sells for £6. Wholesome Junkies attracted the interest of one investor, hoping to make his mark in the one of the UK's fastest-growing food sectors, with one-in-three adults now eating less meat - Chris Miller, the founder of restaurant investment vehicle White Rabbit Fund. Since 2016 he has invested in Indian tapas chain Kricket, Hawaiian grab-and-go restaurant Island Poke, Italian heritage brand Lina Stores, and he is about to launch a modern Chinese in the City.
Both FINCA and Wholesome Junkies already operate successful, street-food businesses. Can Joe, Oli and Michael, and Chelsea, convince the investors they gave got what it takes to become the next high-street hits? They have got three days to prove themselves. Show less