A tech entrepreneur and food and drink veteran have together bought Scottish deli and cafe brand Peckham’s, with plans for a six-figure investment at its two remaining sites along with a return to Edinburgh.
Andrew Duncan and Lee Fish, who previously held the UK franchise for O’Briens sandwich cafés, have bought the food retailer’s last two branches, in Glasgow, for an undisclosed sum.
We aim to be the most high-tech deli in the countryAndrew Duncan
Duncan, founder and MD of mobile and web technology business SwarmOnline, which has offices in Edinburgh and Glasgow, said that when he found out the brand was on sale, “I felt that our combination of sector experience and tech expertise would be ideal to restore the company’s reputation in a hugely competitive market”.
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He added: “SwarmOnline will develop the tech side of the business producing apps that will make it much more efficient, allowing us to make better-informed decisions about stock and sales and making the customer experience unlike any other deli or café.
“This sort of technology is normally only used by the major supermarkets and corporates – we aim to be the most high-tech deli in the country.”
Fish, who owns Kitchen, a small chain of independent cafés in the west of Scotland, and runs O’Briens shops in Newcastle and Edinburgh, said: “Peckham’s has suffered from a lack of investment in recent years and we will address that immediately.
“We plan to completely reconfigure the Byres Road branch by the end of this year, followed by Hyndland Road with spending on the project likely to hit six figures.”
He said there are 18 staff across the two sites, adding: “We intend to revitalise stock lines and develop new relationships with producers, particularly in Scotland. We will also focus heavily on wine and hope to attract those who currently buy at supermarkets.”
Fish also said the aim is to “bring in new customers as well as those who have perhaps abandoned Peckham’s”.
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In addition, the pair said they are already seeking out suitable premises in the Scottish capital.
Peckham’s opened its first shop in 1982, setting out to open until midnight, seven days a week. At one point it had 14 stores in Scotland, including sites in Waverley Station, Stockbridge, Bruntsfield and Newington in Edinburgh as well as in Glasgow’s Merchant City and Central Station plus Lenzie, Newton Mearns, Prestwick Airport and Aberdeen.
However, Peckham & Rye, the oldest part of the family-owned business, went into administration in 2011.