Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Playing the Market; Trends Pop-Ups Are So Last Year -- the Capital's Biggest Street Foodies Are Making Things Permanent with a Crowdfunded PS3.5million Site, Says Phoebe Luckhurst

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Playing the Market; Trends Pop-Ups Are So Last Year -- the Capital's Biggest Street Foodies Are Making Things Permanent with a Crowdfunded PS3.5million Site, Says Phoebe Luckhurst

Article excerpt

Byline: Phoebe Luckhurst

GREAT minds think alike, so it's no surprise that Henry Dimbleby and Jonathan Downey came up with their multimillion-pound idea at the same time.

"Henry had been on a walking holiday," explains Downey (who prefers to be called JD), "and came back with an idea for a permanent market in London. I was taking notes while he was talking, and then turned the piece of paper over and was like: 'I've had the same idea'."

The "same idea" is set to be the crowning achievement of London Union, which currently exists as a network of street-food markets (including Dalston Yard in E8, Dinerama in Shoreditch and Model Market in Lewisham) and plans to create a single, enormous, street food market "like the Boqueria in Barcelona".

Downey, a former corporate lawyer, opened cocktail bar Milk & Honey in Soho in 2002; Dimbleby is the founder of high-street fast-food chain Leon. By 2020 the pair plan to have at least a dozen local markets in London, a large permanent site and several markets abroad. They will target North America and are discussing plans for Berlin.

They have drafted in high-profile supporters including Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson, Wahaca founder Thomasina Miers, Yotam Ottolenghi and Nick Jones, founder of the Soho House group. "It's like an Avengers Assemble of big names and successful business people," says Downey. But tech is going to play a major role in this latest stage.

The permanent market is being financed partly through crowdfunding. The pair are looking for 700 people to make a minimum contribution of PS5,000, aiming to raise PS3.5 million in total. This would make it the biggest food and hospitality crowdfund ever if you don't count the PS5million independent brewer BrewDog raised in three weeks, which the pair -- with tongues in cheeks -- do not, as BrewDog does drinks.

Those investing get a seat at the company's "Annual General Eating", invitations to all launches and previews and a "union card" (free access with three guests forever). If you invest PS10,000 you also get an invitation to the May Day party to mark the start of the summer eating season and a 10 per cent annual bar tab discount. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.