"Without VCT investment our progress would have been slower and opportunities would have been missed."
Kris Gumbrell, CEO
Brewhouse and Kitchen was set up in 2011 by Simon Bunn and Kris Gumbrell. Their aim was to create pubs that would offer both fresh food and a range of craft beers brewed on site. The initial focus of the business was to be on London and the South East of England.
With the pub industry facing challenging times, Kris and Simon saw an opportunity to acquire high-quality buildings cheaply which could be converted into Brewhouse and Kitchen pubs. However, with the best units still being snapped up quickly, they knew that the business would need a substantial injection of capital in order to be taken seriously by agents. More financial firepower would also be necessary to convert the buildings.
How VCTs helped
Brewhouse and Kitchen had already raised money through the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS), but found this a time-consuming process. The Puma VCTs provided what the company calls ‘a quick and substantial source of funding’, investing £1.5m into Brewhouse and Kitchen in December 2012, and a further £1.6m three months later.
With its network of pubs set to expand to seven in 2015, Brewhouse and Kitchen has the funding to secure and convert up to 20 units in the South of England. However, the Puma VCTs have indicated their interest in funding the company beyond this, with the ultimate vision of building a group of more than 50 Brewhouse and Kitchen pubs across the country.
Brewhouse and Kitchen’s success was recognised in the national Publican Awards 2014, when it was runner-up in the Best Microbrewing Pub Company category.