Posted: 13/10/2015

Pop-up looking to launch London ‘hub’ for food start-ups

Tara Sundramoorthi Kitchen Table Projects
Tara Sundramoorthi, founder of Kitchen Table Projects, hopes her second pop-up will become a permanent space for food businesses

A fine food pop-up shop is looking to establish a food hub for start-up artisan food businesses after opening its second pop-up shop in the capital.

Kitchen Table Projects, a company which runs 12-week mentoring programmes for food start-ups alongside its pop-up stores, is hoping its new site on Great Portland Street will be established as a permanent home in the capital.

Owner Tara Sundramoorthi said she is already in negotiations with the landlord over the site, a 3,000 sq ft retail space, which also includes a large basement. This has been transformed into The Study, a co-working space with flexible open plan offices, meeting rooms and quiet “break out” spaces, which is open to food businesses to use seven-days-a-week at a special discounted rate.

Sundramoorthi said it would form the basis of a food business hub, where food start-ups can hot desk and use the facilities by the day, week or month, using a flexible booking system.

“We want to build a community of people who can benefit from meeting other like-minded people,” she told FFD. “There is the opportunity to have somewhere permanent and we are in the process of negotiating a longer-term lease. We want somewhere to call home.”

The latest pop-up marks a step up in the company’s ambitions, after it opened its first pop-up store in a 600sq ft unit in Old Street. The Great Portland street shop, which is initially set to run for three months, stocks around 1,000 lines from 600 different brands, most of which have been started up in the last 18 months. A number have been working with Kitchen Table Projects taking part in its three-month Retail Incubator course.

The aim of the course is to give start-ups advice and guidance at an early stage, help them develop their businesses and direct their investment into the best possible routes to avoid costly mistakes. It also provides 1-2-1 mentoring and networking sessions, as well as giving access to the pop-up space and the chance to put products on shelf, run sampling and consumer trials.

“We have been more involved in 1-2-1 sessions that originally envisaged and working on promoting the products,” added Sundramoorthi.



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