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Encore invests in leading plant based restaurant group Mildreds

Encore Capital, the London based investment firm focused on backing entrepreneurial growth businesses, has completed an investment in Mildreds, the London based vegan restaurant group.

Mildreds is an iconic London brand established 30 years ago. The business operates premium casual vegan restaurants in central London, offering a broad menu of internationally inspired food served as bowls, hot sandwiches/burgers, salads, home-style plates, and homemade desserts. The first site launched in Soho in 1988 and has since opened restaurants in Kings Cross, Camden and Dalston. The brand has a loyal and growing following, evidenced by its consistent high customer ratings and the success of new openings. The popular Mildreds cook books are best sellers in their category.

The Mildreds name originally emanates from friends nicknaming founder Jane Muir, “Mildred”, from the 1945 film starring Joan Crawford, Mildred Pierce. The film was about a down trodden waitress who managed to open a chain of successful restaurants. We believe the authenticity of the Mildreds brand provides a unique opportunity to continue to build a business within the high growth vegan food market.

Globally the trend towards vegan eating is very well documented. These trends have accelerated in recent years and current research suggests that there are 7.2m adults in the UK following a vegan or plant based diet. This trend is more pronounced amongst a younger audience, which also has a higher propensity to eat out. Meat reduction campaigns such as “meat free Monday” and “Veganuary” and celebrity vegans have captured consumers’ minds. Mildreds is the most established and loved vegan restaurant brand in the UK, and we believe has a unique opportunity to continue to expand – through further openings, as well as brand extension into retail and media.

Commenting on the investment, Shirin Gandhi, Partner at Encore, said: “We continue to invest in brands which capture consumer trends towards health and ethical values. We have been customers of Mildreds for over 20 years and recognise it as synonymous with vegan food in London and beyond, attracting a loyal following amongst the local population and international visitors to London. The brand has always been accessible and inclusive, not being defined by its vegan focus. Jane and her team have done a fantastic job and we look forward to working closely with them and we are extremely excited by the potential for continued growth.”

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