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Ranjit Singh Boparan buys Gourmet Burger Kitchen in rescue deal

Gourmet Burger Kitchen has been bought out of administration by the food industry tycoon Ranjit Singh Boparan in a deal that will save more than 660 jobs.



a sign hanging off the side of a building: Photograph: Maureen McLean/REX/Shutterstock


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Maureen McLean/REX/Shutterstock

Boparan, who bought Carluccio’s in May, has bought 35 of the burger restaurant’s sites. However, under the pre-pack administration deal, 26 other sites will close, with the loss of 362 jobs.

The burger chain, which was owned by the South African company Famous Brands, which also owns Wimpy in the UK, was put on the market as it struggled amid the pandemic and high street lockdown.

But Gourmet Burger Kitchen has been in difficulties since a restructuring deal with landlords in 2018 under which it agreed to close up to 17 sites after the casual dining market became oversaturated.

Gavin Maher, a partner at Deloitte who was appointed joint administrator on Wednesday, said: “The broader challenges facing ‘bricks and mortar’ operators, combined with the effect of the lockdown, resulted in a deterioration in financial performance and a material funding requirement.

“We have been working closely with the management team under very difficult market conditions to try and find a funding solution, and I am glad to be able to announce the rescue of this well-loved brand together with a large proportion of the sites and workforce. However, it’s clearly disappointing that a number of sites have had to close resulting in today’s redundancies.”



a sign hanging off the side of a building: A Gourmet Burger Kitchen restaurant in Bracknell.


© Photograph: Maureen McLean/REX/Shutterstock
A Gourmet Burger Kitchen restaurant in Bracknell.

Labelled the “chicken king” as he is the co-owner and founder of 2 Sisters Food Group, which supplies about a third of the chicken on UK supermarket shelves, Boparan’s business interests includes turkey producer Bernard Matthews, the upmarket London restaurant The Cinnamon Club restaurant, as well as the Giraffe and Ed’s

New playwrights announced for Art House INKubator project

Art House Productions has officially announced the 2020-2021 cohort of its INKubator Program, a year-long process for a select group of six playwrights in residence at Art House Productions. This year’s playwrights are Andrea Coleman, Izzi D’Esposito, Madeline Dennis-Yates, Nathaniel Foster, Aja Nisenson, and SMJ. This will be the 3rd Annual INKubator New Play Festival, a six-day marathon festival scheduled to take place in May 2021.

Playwrights will meet virtually over the next several months with program director Alex Tobey to share new work, receive feedback, and develop a first draft of a new play. Meetings are expected to be in-person when it’s safer to do so. Each writer will team up with a director and actors to present a public reading in May as a part of INKubator.

In addition to monthly meetings, playwrights will receive free admission to performances, mixers, and other events at Art House Productions. Audiences will also have the opportunity to participate in conversations with the writers, directors, and actors following each performance.

Andrea Coleman is a Brooklyn based writer, performer and lawyer originally from Virginia. She writes sketch comedy, standup comedy, screenplays, stageplays, and her Medium articles have been viewed online over half a million times. The law comedy show she created and stars in, Woke Laws, has been featured in The New York Times, TimeOut NY, NPR, and aired on PBS. She has toured her standup at SF Sketchfest and written and executive produced five short films which have been selections at 16 film festivals.

Izzi D’Esposito (she/her) is a New York based playwright and songwriter. Her work has been produced or developed at The Playwrights Realm, Workshop Theater, Homegrown Theater, the Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, Ars Nova, Arts Tristate, Carnegie Mellon University, Horizon Theater, Boise Contemporary Theater and more. She has a

Minnesota House to reconvene for vote on $1.4B bonding bill

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota House reconvenes Wednesday for what could be its last chance to pass a $1.37 billion public works construction borrowing package, but it requires at least six Republican votes.

The legislation, known as a bonding bill, requires a 60% supermajority to pass. And the Democratic-controlled House must approve it before the Republican-controlled Senate can take it up, which could happen Thursday.

The bonding bill is the biggest piece of unfinished business left over from the 2020 regular session, which ended in May. With less than three weeks to go until the election, this is seen as the Legislature’s last chance for the

Ranjit Singh Boparan buys Gourmet Burger Kitchen in rescue deal | Business

Gourmet Burger Kitchen has been bought out of administration by the food industry tycoon Ranjit Singh Boparan in a deal that will save more than 660 jobs.

Boparan, who bought Carluccio’s in May, has bought 35 of the burger restaurant’s sites. However, under the pre-pack administration deal, 26 other sites will close, with the loss of 362 jobs.

The burger chain, which was owned by the South African company Famous Brands, which also owns Wimpy in the UK, was put on the market as it struggled amid the pandemic and high street lockdown.

But Gourmet Burger Kitchen has been in difficulties since a restructuring deal with landlords in 2018 under which it agreed to close up to 17 sites after the casual dining market became oversaturated.

Gavin Maher, a partner at Deloitte who was appointed joint administrator on Wednesday, said: “The broader challenges facing ‘bricks and mortar’ operators, combined with the effect of the lockdown, resulted in a deterioration in financial performance and a material funding requirement.

“We have been working closely with the management team under very difficult market conditions to try and find a funding solution, and I am glad to be able to announce the rescue of this well-loved brand together with a large proportion of the sites and workforce. However, it’s clearly disappointing that a number of sites have had to close resulting in today’s redundancies.”

Labelled the “chicken king” as he is the co-owner and founder of 2 Sisters Food Group, which supplies about a third of the chicken on UK supermarket shelves, Boparan’s business interests includes turkey producer Bernard Matthews, the upmarket London restaurant The Cinnamon Club restaurant, as well as the Giraffe and Ed’s Easy Diner chains.

Satnam Leihal, the managing director of Boparan Restaurant Group, said: “This latest acquisition is in line

Home decor store Swatty Creek Mill opens in Dauphin County

Tiffany Williams launched an online home décor business, Swatty Creek Mill last year. And now Swatty Creek Mill has a place to call home in Hummelstown.

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Swatty Creek Mill opened last month in a former pharmacy at 28 W. Main St.

The store sells a variety of items including seasonal home decor, soap, florals, potpourri, t-shirts, blankets, pillows, rugs, candles, snacks, gifts, apparel and some vintage items in the four-room facility.

Williams said that the new shop will allow her to have all of the of the store’s items centrally located and available for shipping nationally or the items can now be picked up in Hummelstown.

In the future, she hopes to host “do it Yourself” and “how to” classes at the store and she also hopes to have space for local vendors as well.

Previously, Williams was an assistant vice president with Members 1st Federal Credit Union. Last year she started Swatty Creek Mill by selling items through Etsy, Amazon and the company website. She also sold items from the store at a booth in the Palmyra area. And she has a booth at Olde Factory Antiques and Crafts in Hummelstown and she will continue to do so.

Swatty Creek Mill is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

–Business Buzz

You can follow Daniel Urie on twitter @DanielUrie2018 and you can like PennLive’s business page on Facebook at @PennLiveBusiness

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