Healthy eating concept Ultimate Café is rolling out nationwide in partnership with Ultimate Outdoors shops, M&C has learnt.

The JD Sports-owned outdoor store Ultimate Outdoors, which currently has three stores, is opening in Southampton early next year and has its next three sites acquired as part of plans to open on retail parks around the country with Ultimate Cafes in each.

The Ultimate Café brand has been conceived by the founders of Liverpool’s Interesting Eating Company who wanted to grow their concept away from the high street. Co-founder and director Andrea Edwards, who founded the brand with Nicola Lee, told M&C: “We thought if Costa can open inside Next why couldn’t we go inside someone like JD Sports. We approached JD as they were creating the Ultimate Outdoors fascia.”

Edwards told M&C the concept offers the same menu as The Interesting Eating Company but in the setting of the outdoors retailer, which she said has “huge expansion plans” for the next few years taking it nationwide.

Ultimate Outdoors opened its first shop in Merry Hill in June 2014 and has subsequently added units on retail parks in Nottingham and Preston. It has acquired premises in Rotherham, Aintree, Merryhill, Nottingham and Southampton to open next year.

The café brand serves quality fresh food and its USP is waffles and pancakes as its specialities.

Edwards said everything on the menu is available as gluten-free and nothing is fried – even the cooked breakfast – to offer an alternative to the usual food found on retail parks.

The Interesting Eating Company was the first independent eatery to open in the Liverpool One development when it opened a pop-up there earlier this year following the success of its Allerton Road site.

Edwards started the Interesting Eating Company in 2012 in Liverpool with Nicola Lee.