AF Blakemore announces joint venture with Spar restaurant business

AF Blakemore has revealed a new partnership with award-winning Spar retail and restaurant business EAT 17.

The Blakemore Group has announced a joint venture with the East London-based company with the purpose of gaining a greater understanding of its success in the food service sector.

AF Blakemore and two of EAT 17’s co-founders, James Brundle and stepbrother Chris O’Connor, have joined in partnership to oversee the running of the EAT 17 group, which consists of two joint Spar convenience retail and restaurant sites in Walthamstow and Hackney.

Since it was established in 2007, EAT 17 has become world-renowned in the convenience sector for its entrepreneurial flair, innovation and unrivalled quality produce. Spar Hackney was recently crowned Best New Store at the 2015 Convenience Retail Awards and is also currently in the running for the title of NACS Insight International Convenience Retailer of the Year.

Blakemore Trade Partners managing director Jerry Marwood, said: “AF Blakemore is delighted to embark on this new partnership with such a prestigious business and is confident that the move will prove to be an amazing opportunity for both partners.

“Food service in a franchise format has delivered strong growth across both AF Blakemore’s independent Spar estate and company-owned Blakemore Retail Spar estate, so this investment will further strengthen our insight into this area.”

Brundle said: “Having worked in partnership with AF Blakemore since 2010 we have seen the great benefits that their industry expertise and symbol group backing has brought to our company and are confident that this partnership will help us to grow our business and develop it to the next level.”

Marwood added: “We are really excited by this move, which will not only help us better understand how independent businesses like this succeed in a fiercely competitive market, but also demonstrates our commitment to this sector.”