A Shoreditch frozen yoghurt company has unveiled ambitious expansion plans for more than a dozen branches in cities across the UK, backed by a crowd-funding campaign.
Sloane Bros’ first shop opened in Brick Lane in June 2015 with a second branch starting up in Nottingham the following summer..
Joseph Chakra, the company founder, previously worked as an international banker. Originally just a healthy frozen yogurt enthusiast, Chakra decided to create a new brand of ‘Fro-Yo’ that would represent the best of British quality.
Their goal is to open 16 stores in the next 5 years in all major UK cities including London.
The Sloane Brothers have been crowdfunding through Crowdcube. They have raised £67,650 so far of their target of £150,000, with 15 days to go before the campaign finishes, Currently there are 107 investors who have 7.5% of equity.
According to the company, the frozen yoghurt market has grown by 21% in the last 5 years in comparison to a rise of less than 3% in ice cream sales.
Last Wednesday, they organised an event in their Brick Lane store for potential investors and supporters. People were invited to sample British frozen yogurt and to meet the owner personally.
Charka said: “Our customer is our best ambassador. Even our social media is done by our customers. So we thought it would be best to have our clients as our partners involved in order to establish the business.”
He added: “The campaign will allow anybody who loves the product to become a business shareholder.”
— SloaneBrothers (@SloaneBrothers) February 3, 2017
Currently Sloane Bros is the only frozen yogurt shop in Brick Lane. Chakra chose the area because it reflects traditional British branding since Brick Lane itself is a very old region of East London.
The Brick Lane store receives roughly 500 visitors daily. During the summertime and at weekends, the number of customers more than doubles.
It is still uncertain where the next frozen yoghurt shop will be. New Cross and Whitgift Shopping Centre in Croydon are both strong possibilities.
Before turning to Crowdcube, Chakra had converted a director’s loan of £175,000 into equity. In addition, the company has received a loan of £25,000 from Virgin Start-up and £100,000 from Lancer Capital.
By December 2017 they aim to raise over £350,000. The investments will help Sloane Bros to expand into an overseas franchise and to launch a B2B (Business-to-business) strategy.
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