Mercer & Co founder Alex Foley wants to open eight branches of his salt beef bagel and cocktail concept, before exploring investment opportunities for further growth, MCA has learnt.

Foley, who also owns Chapel Bar in Islington and opened Mercer & Co in Chapel Market before Christmas, believes the concept would work in areas such as Soho, Covent Garden, Shoreditch, as well as airports and train stations and plans to open his second site this year.

He told MCA there were growth potential for bagels, which are popular in London, but are largely catered for by independent bakeries.

Foley said his evening cocktail service, which launches after Easter, also offered another point of different, with aged and fermented creations.

Foley said: “I’m ambitious, and hopefully once I’ve got the first template branch as as I want it, we will be able to secure the right investment.

“The number I would like to get to is eight, that’s when I could say I’ve achieved my goal. From there we can move forward.

“I think eight is achievable on my own without bringing in capital investors. To go further you obviously have to prove the concept works, and turn a profit, then potentially an investor may be interested in getting involved.”

Foley said though bagels where available in London, they had to be sought out, and he wanted to make the popular Jewish sandwich more accessible.

He said the cocktails, which have been eight months in development with his Chapel Bar head barman, and are aged in a demijohn for several months, was a “totally new concept”.

“There’s nothing like it out there”, he added.

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