Restauranteur Richard Caring has invested in an organic food store and cafe company and intends to rollout the new concept, it has been revealed. Caring – the millionaire owner of The Ivy, Le Caprice and Scotts – has substantially backed Bill's Produce – which has two cafe/food stores in Brighton and Lewes. The entrepreneuris understood to have beaten off strict competition from retail operators, including a large supermarket chain, in his bid to invest in the fledgling organic concept which is owned by Bill Collison. Caring, who once owned the Italian restaurant chain Strada before selling it to Tragus for £140m, is a major investor in Cote – the French bistro chain that was the brainchild of the former Strada management team. This morning, Andy Bassadone of Cote, confirmed that Caring had invested in Bill's Produce but would not say how much his stake was worth. He told M&C Report: “Richard Caring has taken a stake in Bill's and we at Cote, as managers, are going to try to help Bill's expand as a business. “It's a very interesting and innovative concept, one that can definitely be expanded. A lot of people have shown interest in Bill's but I think the owner wanted to work with us because of what we can bring to the company. “We understand the market, we understand property and think that Bill's is an idea that can go really far.” Bill Collison, the owner of Bill's Produce, told a local Sussex newspaper: “I'll still be working 90 hours a week polishing apples and shuffling chutney but it's a bit of money to improve what we have already done. “There is a plan to roll out Bill's but that's not an easy process. To do something on this scale we need investment and it takes time.” “We haven't looked anywhere,” he added. “Everyone wants to have a Bill's in their town but what I don't want to do is have anything that isn't as good as Lewes or Brighton. “It will grow organically and with care. It allows us to invest in other people including local farmers and small producers, and it helps all of the Lewes companies who are involved with Bill's.”