Raw Kitchen right across food trends

4:10 PM Friday April 6, 2018 Paul Charman

The Raw Kitchen outlets are in Strand Arcade, Elliot St; and City Works Depot, 90 Wellesley St (pictured). Photo / Supplied

The Raw Kitchen is a high-end food operator with a cool brand that dispenses “healthy food, prepared with love” at two busy sites in Auckland’s inner city.

The vibrant going concern business, which trades from leased premises at the Strand Arcade in Elliot St, and at the City Works Depot, 90 Wellesley St — is being marketed for sale by Link Business broker Nick Giles.

The asking price for the business, representing a combination of tangible and intangible assets, is $590,000.

“With present average weekly sales of $16,292, these operations stack-up very well in the commercial sense,” says Giles.

“But perhaps more to the point, for somebody wishing to invest with an eye to the future, the quality and values behind them represents something quite special.

“In my view, The Raw Kitchen has tapped into an idea whose time has come.”

Giles says the two thriving outlets prove that busy people will pay a premium for convenient, tasty food, which is of exceptional nutritional value.

“It seems clear to me that the opportunity to open similar stores throughout Auckland and, indeed, throughout the country is very real.

“Yes, expansion can sometimes be tricky, but in this case the opportunity to ‘licence’, or to ‘franchise’ seems undeniable,” he says.

raw kitchen 1.jpg

The Raw Kitchen serves a nucleus of busy office workers seeking excellent lunchtime nutrition. Photo / Supplied

“There are, of course, cost benefits that come with expansion. Purchasing power increases exponentially and the opportunity to run a central kitchen would dramatically change the cost structure and profitability of each store.

“The potential for the online direct sales side of this business also looks promising. Then, there is the wholesale side — representing a whole new and untapped business.

“In my view, New Zealand’s largest city has an abundance of high-quality niche stores with owners who will be very interested in what The Raw Kitchen can provide.”

Giles says the Raw Kitchen was founded in 2013 by Olivia Scott, a wellbeing-advocate, who experienced growing demand for her outstanding handmade raw cakes.

The word spread quickly and the Raw Kitchen started its journey with a nucleus of busy office workers seeking excellent lunchtime nutrition.

Raw kitchen 4.jpg

The fit-out of both stores is of a very high standard with a fresh modern feel. Photo / Supplied

“Olivia has done an amazing job creating the brand idea and product base — but, four-years-on, she says it’s time for her to move on to a fresh project.

“Reluctantly, this dynamic lady has decided to pass the baton to a new owner, who will undoubtedly take The Raw Kitchen to its next phase of growth.

“Under her leadership the food has always been handmade daily with fresh, local ingredients in the two kitchens at City Works Depot and Strand Arcade.

“With nutrition and creativity at the forefront in all they do, the food is designed specifically with customers’ needs in mind.

“The team is passionate about sustainability and making the world a more environmentally friendly place, as Olivia and her hand-picked employees see this as the only way of the future.”

For example, says Giles, all food is presented in compostable and bio-degradable packaging and the business works with local organisations to give back to the community.

He adds that City Works Depot and Strand Arcade sites are ideally placed to serve the constituency that The Raw Kitchen most appeals to.

“The Strand Arcade attracts huge patronage from the University and City Works Depot is a real foodie destination with esteemed neighbours like Best Ugly Bagels, Odettes, The Food Truck, & Sushi, and 3 Beans Coffee. There is also a major gym onsite.

“The fit-out of both stores is of a very high standard with a fresh modern feel. It’s the perfect backdrop to the stunning food on sale at both locations.”

Giles says costs are well controlled with food costs running at 30.4 per cent.

“This is deeply impressive considering the nature of the products on offer,” he says.

“The recipes have been really cleverly designed to allow for strong margins. Wages are also well controlled with both stores running at around 23 per cent of sales.

“The owner spends around 20 hours on the floor and so a full time working owner would further reduce wage costs.

“The Raw Kitchen is very much in growth mode,” Giles points out.