Loui Blake, the vegan influencer behind Erpingham House, believes there is a gap in the Brighton market for a more refined vegan offering, he has told MCA.

Blake, whose business partner, MK Dons footballer Russell Martin is a resident of Brighton, is looking for a “multi-faceted” site with space for at least a café and restaurant, as part of his vision to take veganism mainstream.

He said the longer-term goal was to open multiple sites under the Erpingham House name with a short-term target of one a year in regional cities.

The operator was speaking ahead of the launch of a Crowdcube campaign which will seek £250,000 for expansion – though Blake said the Brighton site would still go ahead if the raise is not successful.

Erpingham House debuted in Norwich and is billed as the UK’s biggest vegan restaurant.

South End United goalkeeper Declan Rudd is also a partner in the project.

Blake also operates the two-strong London-based Kalifornia Kitchen concept under a separate business.

On why Brighton is the target, Blake told MCA: “Though there is a vegan market, there isn’t really anyone doing quite what we’re doing in term of more refined offering. We felt there was an opportunity to add some value to the area.

“Personally it’s my favourite city in the UK – I used to live there for a while – and it’s a city that really understands food and culture around veganism.”

The site will look to find a balance between an accessible but not overly commercial location.

“We’re trying to take veganism into the mainstream, so the location is quite crucial,” he said.

“Longer term the goal is to open further sites. We’re looking at more regional openings. London’s blessed with lots of vegan offerings, so are looking to go to places which don’t currently have a more mainstream vegan offering which is health focussed.”

The crowdfunding campaign, which launches to private investors tomorrow and to the wider public on 1 September is just as much about building awareness as investment, Blake said.

“It’s not simply a monetary thing. We are trying to create advocates and ambassadors as part of a community, a community of people that are interested and motivated by the same things we are,” he added.