Filmore and Union tastes sweet success with NatWest

An award-winning Yorkshire-based restaurant dubbed the “health kitchen” is expanding with funding from NatWest.

Filmore and Union was founded less than two years ago by Adele Ashley and her Michelin trained chef Nephew, Will Pugh.

Together they have already grown the business into a small empire – with a restaurant in Wetherby, a deli in Harrogate, a kiosk at York Train Station and a restaurant in Low Petergate, York.

They have also expanded into Leeds with a recently opened a restaurant in the Victoria Quarter in Leeds city centre next to Harvey Nicholls and another restaurant at Moortown Corner, Leeds .

Adele said:

“We make everything ourselves – right down to the hummus in your bagel. We make everything ourselves and even have our own organic coffee brand.

“We don’t use cream, only use healthy oils and use herbs and spices to sweeten our products. Our  food is extremely healthy and tastes fantastic.”

Having self-funded the business up until recently, Adele knew that to be able to expand the Filmore and Union brand to Leeds, she would need a strong banking relationship to support her business and so moved to NatWest.

Adele added:

“The bank I was with before was not supportive of me or the business and a friend of mine introduced me to NatWest – they’ve been amazing from day one.”

NatWest worked with Adele to provide the business with £175,000 loan provided as part of the bank’s participation in the Government’s Funding for Lending Scheme.

“The funding enabled Adele to refurbish the two Leeds premises, purchase machinery and pay for architecture fees.

Adele said:

“The additional capital meant that I was able to open a larger site in central Leeds as well as a smaller site on the outskirts of the city in Moortown.

“With each new site we create 50 jobs – so that’s 100 just as a result of these two businesses.”

The Moortown restaurant opened in January while the central restaurant, in the Victoria Quarter in Leeds opened in November to glowing reviews.

Looking forward, Adele expects the business’s turnover to increase to £3.5 million in 2014 and has just won a tender to set up at Newcastle train station alongside the likes of big names such as Cafe Nero.

Tom Smith, relationship manager at NatWest said:

“I am so pleased to have been able to support Adele and Will in this fantastic new venture.

“The business is growing in line with demand and I expect nothing but success for the future for them.”

Adele Ashley with NatWest relationship manager Tom Smith

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