Freshly Chopped planning to open 10 Irish outlets

Dublin-based food retailer also raising some €3m to fund expansion into Britain

Chopped co-founder Brian Lee: believes Ireland is about 10 years behind other markets

Chopped co-founder Brian Lee: believes Ireland is about 10 years behind other markets

 

Dublin-based food retailer Freshly Chopped is planning to open 10 new outlets in Ireland this year while also raising about €3 million to fund an expansion into Britain.

Freshly Chopped runs the Chopped chain of food outlets.

Speaking on the fringe of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year chief executives retreat in Boston, co-founder Brian Lee said Freshly Chopped would open a “minimum” 10 new stores by the end of 2016. This will include outlets in Rathmines, the Square shopping centre in Tallaght, Sandyford, Swords Pavilions, Smithfield, Talbot Street, Westmoreland Street and the UCD campus in Belfield.

“We should have four or five of them open by the end of July,” he said, adding that they would be a mix of company-owned stores and franchises.

The rapidly-expanding company also has its eye on the British market. “We’re making a play for the UK,” Mr Lee said. “We’re putting together a team to open company-owned and franchise stores . . . very early in 2017.”

Mr Lee said its focus would be on Milton Keynes and London. “We will be seeking investment and will look to raise €3 million by the end of this year.”

Theatre for food

“I still see a marketplace for Freshly Chopped there. We offer a theatre for food, not pre-packed style.” He intends to operate two legal entities in Britain , one of them being a master franchiser, in a structure that will ringfence them from the parent company in Ireland.

He believes Ireland is about 10 years behind other markets in terms of the “healthy food revolution” and that there is the potential for “at least” 100 Chopped stores in Ireland and Britain. Established in 2012, Freshly Chopped’s goal is to offer healthy takeaway options for customers, through a range of salads, wraps, sandwiches and soups. Freshly Chopped currently has six outlets in Dublin, half of which are franchises. Its revenues last year amounted to €2 million and profits were reinvested back into the business for new openings, according to Mr Lee.