Island Poke secures investment to accelerate future growth

Island Poké, the UK’s leading poké operator, has secured investment from Hero Brands to further accelerate its plans for growth.

This new trajectory will be spearheaded by recent appointment Nick Schapira as Business Development Director, who brings with him significant experience in international growth.

Having more than doubled in size in the last year to 17 outlets, with 4 new dark kitchen sites in the UK and 5 outlets opened in France, even a global pandemic won’t dampen Island Poké’s growth ambitions. By the end of 2021, there will be at least 5 more sites added to the lineup, and a further 40 planned in France alone over the next 5 years

Known for its innovative menus, energetic service and interiors that evoke feelings of the Pacific shores, Island Poké was one of the first movers in the market when founder James Gould-Porter saw the opportunity for a vibrant, healthy and interactive grab and go concept.

The brand has since developed a loyal following particularly amongst office workers looking for lunch alternatives to the mainstream sandwich and similar offerings.

Island Poké will look to lean on Hero Brand’s leading industry expertise and operational infrastructure as it sets its sights on becoming the go-to poké brand both domestically and abroad.

Combining Hero Brand’s franchising know-how and network with Nick Schapira’s international business development experience, positions Island Poké well to achieve these ambitious plans.

The investment will see Hero Brands join the board alongside early investor Chris Miller of White Rabbit Projects and founder James Gould-Porter.

Gould-Porter said, “We’re so excited to be bringing Hero Brands on board and the experience that they’ll bring to the table. We’ve been working closely together and feel that our businesses are a great fit for each other. We’ve seen what they’ve done with other concepts within their portfolio and look forward to growing together”.

Hero Brand’s Chairman, Athif Sarwar added, “Hero Brands is responding to emerging consumer trends and focused on growing the brands of the future.

“We look to partner with disruptive brands that have a USP and can be scaled and taken to global markets.

“Island Poké fits with our DNA and is a fantastic concept that is already proving to be a huge hit with consumers across London and France.

“We are now very much looking forward to working with James and the team to bring our expertise and embark on our ambitions to create a truly global brand.”

Chris Miller of White Rabbit Projects said, “It has been incredibly tough in the hospitality market over the past year so it is great to provide some good news with a big growth plan and the job opportunities that it will create.

'Island Poké was our first project at White Rabbit and James and the team have done an incredible job growing the company rapidly in a very short period of time. We look forward to welcoming the expertise of Hero to the table to help accelerate that further.