Healthy chain set for 
crowdfunded growth

Adele Carnell, who founded Filmore & Union with nephew Will Pugh in 2011. (S)
Adele Carnell, who founded Filmore & Union with nephew Will Pugh in 2011. (S)

A Wetherby-based healthy eating company has announced growth plans to expand the business throughout the North with its first crowdfunding investment campaign.

Filmore & Union, an independent chain of healthy eating cafés, is hoping to raise £500,000 for a 10 per cent equity share through Europe’s largest crowdfunding investment platform, Crowdcube, to enable it to continue to expand and open further sites.

The family run company, which had a turnover of £3.2m in 2014, is believed to be the first Yorkshire business to pitch on Crowdcube and has already raised £114,900 from 30 investors.

Filmore & Union’s five-year plan forecasts growth to 30 sites with a group turnover of £20m; it would target an exit multiple in excess of 2x brand revenue.

Co-founder Adele Carnell invested £807,000 into the company in 2014 for a new central production unit, warehouse and head office in Wetherby to facilitate the expansion and plans to use the £500,000 Crowdcube investment to continue the growth.

She said: “This is such an exciting time for us and will be a pivotal turning point for the company. We’ve grown Filmore & Union from scratch but we now need help funding the growth of the business which is why we’ve launched a crowdfunding campaign.”

Filmore & Union was founded in 2011 by Ms Carnell, a former wellness clinic owner, and her nephew, Will Pugh, a Michelin-trained chef, when they spotted a gap in the market for healthy, unprocessed food on the high street.

The company’s first café opened in York in 2012 and now has seven sites across Yorkshire, including Wetherby and Harrogate. It plans to open more in the next three months in Ilkley, Beverley – and another in Harrogate.

Craig McKenna, Crowdcube’s Investment Manager for Scotland and the North of England, said: “We’re delighted to have Filmore & Union on board and are looking forward to working with such an interesting and dynamic business.

“Yorkshire is an important area of growth for us at Crowdcube so Filmore & Union will set the standard for what’s to come.”