The founders of confectionary importer Innovative Bites are launching a chip shop brand ChipNation, with plans to open 8-10 sites over the next year, MCA has learnt.

Neha and Vishal Madhu have secured their first site in Windmill Street for an opening on 17 September, and are in legals on a further five locations.

They are understood to be looking at intu Lakeside, Watford, Derby, Luton, Milton Keynes and Birmingham.

After reaching 8-10 company-owned sites, they plan to continue rolling out the brand under a franchised model.

The venture is privately funded by the couple, who exited Innovative Bites earlier this year following its acquisition of Bonds of London and Hancocks sweet suppliers.

ChipNation aims to give chips a gourmet treatment in a quick service setting, with doubled fried Dutch clay soil potatoes, available with 10 seasonings such as cajun spice or peri peri, 40 sauces such as sticky Korean BBQ, smokey baconaise, and six toppings including vegan cheese or fried onions.

Halloumi and Sweet Potato chips will also be available as part of the vegetarian offer.

Neha Madhu told MCA: “The dream of having a restaurant has always been there for both of us. We used to travel Europe, and see Queen’s Chips in Amsterdam, and we thought, why can’t we do something like this but with a twist? How can we take chips in a cone to another level?”

Innovative Bites was founded nine years ago and initially imported and exported American confectionary, supplying the likes of Sainsbury’s and Morrison’s.

Two years ago it acquired Bonds of London, the confectionary manufacturer, followed by Hancocks a year later, creating a £200m business.

Madhu added: “We had a family ethos, and when we bought Hancocks it become a corporate game for us, and we realised it wasn’t for us. We started to lose that family ethos, we were answerable to board members and private equity investors.

“We’ve always loved new ventures and creating businesses, so we thought this was an opportunity to start something new.”