Street food is big business in London right now, and last week saw the launch of a whopping £3.5m crowdfunding campaign, which aims to raise money for a new permanent street food market in central London. The campaign has been launched by London Union, a company formed by Street Feast's Jonathan Downey and Leon founder Henry Dimbleby, and which is backed by an impressive line-up of founder investors, such as Nigella Lawson, Polpo's Russell Norman, Jamie Oliver and Yotam Ottolenghi.
There are a number of benefits available to investors (the full range of which can be seen on the crowdfunding site), such as invitations to openings and preview parties, annual bar tabs and the opportunity to review a restaurant with Giles Coren (The Times) or Tom Parker Bowles (The Mail). The idea is that this market will become a flagship market for central London, and sit alongside 12 local markets (there are currently four). The markets will aim to host 200 street food pitches, and 100 bars which will cater to a potential 4m visitors. The company also plans to open markets in north America and Europe. In short, they've got big ideas.
Jonathan Downey, co-founder of London Union, said: “We founded London Union to transform London’s food landscape, turning underused and derelict corners of the city into vibrant street food markets. In Lewisham, for example, we transformed Model Market — an abandoned 1950s market — into one of south east London’s most popular weekend destinations, with around 4,000 visitors each week.”