Levy and KERB sign exclusive partnership to bring innovative street food to venues across the UK
Levy, the sports, leisure and hospitality sector of Compass Group UK and Ireland, has today announced an exclusive partnership with street food pioneers KERB. The industry-first deal will form part of a wider collaboration with Compass Group UK and Ireland, to develop and deliver new hospitality and retail services to bring the best new food-talent and the very latest in retail street food trends, to Levy’s sporting, events, and conference venues across the UK.
KERB was founded by Petra Barran in 2012 with the aim to seek out the most exciting street food talent, bring them together on the streets of London and legitimise and professionalise a previously dynamic but unorganised industry. Over the past eight years, KERB has grown into the UK’s largest community of street food entrepreneurs, with over 240 traders launched through the organisations inKERBator and accelerator programmes to date.
KERB operates six street food markets across the capital, including its flagship indoor, Seven Dial’s Market, a 24,000 square foot, all-day destination packed with 21 independent food businesses in Covent Garden. KERB has also built a successful events catering business, disrupting a once established industry, catering over 250 events a year and securing listings at London’s biggest and most prestigious venues. This new collaboration will support KERB’s plans to expand into other major UK cities via Levy’s nationwide network of venues.
Exciting plans are in the making to bring an expertly curated mix of KERB’s street food society to some of Levy’s venues, bringing new menus and food experiences to fans and visitors during 2021.
Jon Davies Managing Director of Levy UK said:
“We are consistently evaluating how we best support clients, not least because of the pandemic, with different and relevant ideas that reflect the future we’re going into – whether that’s how we serve our food or how we organise our venues and our people. Our commitment to innovation at Levy is unwavering and when it comes to street food, one of today’s key taste trends, KERB is completely unrivalled in its passion, expertise and experience. Petra, Simon and their team have created a highly agile and experienced retail and operations team, that share our commitment to the highest professional standards and always delivering an exceptional consumer experience. It is exciting to support KERB’s ambition to grow its footprint into other cities in the UK via our network of venues across the country. By working directly with the best in the business, we can help our clients to move with even greater speed in accessing our nation’s best new food talent and continue to provide the broadest and boldest choices that best reflect the rapidly changing tastes and expectations of customers.”
Davies continued, “This is not only a partnership borne of a shared love of the joy that great food can bring, but also a partnership built on shared values. Through our Levy Cares commitments, we believe the food industry has a responsibility to do more for the planet, the teams we work with and the communities we work in, and these principles have been part of KERB’s DNA from day one. I cannot wait to start working together to roll-out some of the most diverse, delicious and inventive food in the UK today and see the smiles on people’s faces”.
Simon Mitchell, CEO at KERB said:
“From our roots as a small group of like-minded street food traders in King’s Cross, KERB’s mission has always centred on providing our members with the best possible platforms to achieve their entrepreneurial dreams. Our partnership with Levy is the start of an ambitious new chapter, which will allow us to expand from our London heartlands and apply our deep expertise in creating dynamic retail markets and delivering unforgettable food experiences, to spectators, members and delegates at Levy’s venues across the UK. Whether it’s award-winning Venezuelan stuffed arepas, Cajun crawfish balls or Korean fried chicken, KERB and its food entrepreneurs together with the industry leader Levy, will be setting a new standard in taste, choice, creativity and sustainability.”
Through its inKERBator programme, each-quarter KERB recruits a fresh batch of early stage businesses with raw talent but little experience and over a three-month period rapidly bring them up to the organisation’s exacting standards. This includes providing market pitches, mentorship, access to business resources and ongoing feedback through one-to-one sessions and focus groups. Recent inKERBator graduates include Biff’s Jack Shack, Zephyr, Eat Chay and Lords of Poke, with 30 out of the Time Out ‘Top 50 street food traders in London’ being KERB members.