Could London be getting a world-class street food market?
Henry Dimbleby, founder of natural fast-food restaurants Leon, and Street Feast’s Jonathan Downey are betting on it.
Through London Union, Street Feast’s parent company, the pair is launching a crowdfunding bid hoping to raise £3.5m - enough money to create not just 12 local markets, but also one permanent one, in an as-yet unknown “iconic” London location.
They’re setting themselves a high goal: The £3.5m bid makes this one of the biggest crowdfunding campaigns ever.
Sure, it doesn’t quite reach the level’s of this summer’s (unsuccessful, need we say it) €1.6bn crowdfunding campaign hoping to raise the funds necessary to bail out Greece, but on the other hand, maybe this bid stands a slightly more realistic chance of success.
London Union was launched five months ago and has reported £3.5m revenue and 300,000 visitors in the first months, set to rise to 1.5 million next year.
Henry Dimbleby said he was pleased that company was already “very profitable”:
We are doing this fundraising so we can move fast to open the world-class, permanent street food market that London deserves.
Either way, Dimbleby and Downey are certainly in good company. The campaign is already backed by some very well-known names: Nigella Lawson, Jamie Oliver, Yotam Ottolenghi, as well as several of the UK’s best-known food writers.