Justin Green, managing director of London-based deli and café concept Natural Kitchen, has told MCA he is looking at a small group acquisition as the company gears up for its next stage of growth.

Green said that after a growth spurt in 2015 that saw the group grow from four to seven sites, last year had been a period of consolidation.

The company is set to open its next site in May - a 5,500 sq ft unit in Angel Court, near Bank, which Green described as “a cathedral to food”.

The unit will encompass the full Natural Kitchen offer, including food to go deli and a full restaurant. He said the group was developing its evening offer for the site.

He said: “We had an exceptional 2016 and made real headway in adding in lots of systems and streamlining our operation.

“Our Waterloo site took longer than we expected to come online but has grown into the star performer of the estate.

“Now we’re looking to go to next stage. We’d like to acquire a business this year and we’re looking at a couple at the moment. The idea is to take us into new areas. We don’t have anything in north London at the moment, for instance.

“We will only do it if it’s right for us - I don’t want to choose big over good.”

Green said there were no immediate plans to look outside of London, saying there was still plenty of scope in the capital.”

He said: “Why would I go to a Liverpool an Oxford, where I don’t know the area, when there are still so many opportunities on our doorstep. It’s something we might look at for a further growth phase but it’s not a priority right now.”