Veeno, the fast-growing wine café concept, could open a further five sites this year, after a successful start to its franchising, MCA has learnt.

Founder Nino Caruso told MCA the group had signed leases for sites in St Paul’s and Sheffield, which will both open under franchise.

He said the group was negotiating on a further two sites in London, and another outside the capital, which could open this year, or early in the New Year.

St Paul’s will be the group’s second London site after Kingston, which opens next week, and was the first “pure” Veeno franchise, with Cardiff operating with some involvement from Veeno management.

Caruso told MCA: “We have a couple of options in London, which we’re trying to work out whether to open this year or early next year. We expect to open before Christmas in Sheffield. And potentially another site, which is still to be confirmed.

“Since we launched franchising we have had a bit of a boom, but in the long term we’re looking to spread between corporate and franchised.

“We prefer business people that want to start in a new industry, or franchisees with other big operators who can open a few stores.”