Italian wine bar Veeno steps up national ambition

Italian wine café Veeno has stepped up its ambitious expansion plans, announcing the first three of ten new venues to open this year.

VEENO by AirPixa-0212

The Italian aperitivo-style bar is broadening its base outside its core Midlands heartland and eyeing up a national roll out as it opens up bars in Bristol, Edinburgh and Harrogate in the next five months.

The business partners behind the brand, Andrea Zecchino and Nino Caruso, said they were keen to expand into new area and “the most important cities” across the UK, and were targeting young professionals, tourists and students.

It is currently looking at venues in Birmingham, Leicester, Glasgow, Bath, Cambridge and York, and has already secured sites in some cities.

It has already opened five bars in the last two years, in Manchester, Leeds, York and Liverpool and Nottingham, and intends to expand this to a national chain of around 80 stores by 2018. The bars serve a range of around twenty wines shipped direct from Caruso’s family’s vineyard in Sicily, a selection of Proseccos and regional Italian liqueurs, alongside ‘sputini’ or Italian appetisers.

It is also set to launch guest wines reflecting the different regions of Italy every two weeks from the beginning of next month to give customers greater insight into regional wines of the area.

The expansion is being funded by a mixture of individuals and angel investors, after the company raised around £200,00 of equity funding through Crowdcube, in 2014-2015. It later turned to Funding Tree top this up with a £150,000 loan to fund refurbishments.

“The first round in 2015 allowed us to be where we are now and open the next three bars. But we are taking on more investment to cover expansion over the next few months, from professional investors and funds,” Caruso told db.

The expansion is being funded by a mixture of individuals and angel investors, after the company raised around £200,00 of equity funding through Crowdcube, which launched at the end of 2014. It later turned to Funding Tree top this up with a £150,000 loan to fund refurbishments.

“We think Bristol – especially the Temple Quay area – is a new area of the city with exciting plans for the next few years. Edinburgh is a big market with a lot of competition and we need to be there to bring the Veeno brand to a national level. Harrogate is smaller, but it’s the perfect niche market to promote a high quality food & drink offer,” Zecchino said.

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