Lend Lease adds Theobroma and Chimichanga to Touchwood's dining portfolio

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Retailing, Saudi arabia

Australian coffee and chocolate brand Theobroma is set to make its UK debut at Touchwood this autumn
Australian coffee and chocolate brand Theobroma is set to make its UK debut at Touchwood this autumn
Property group Lend Lease has signed two new businesses - Australian chocolate cafe Theobroma and Mexican restaurant Chimichanga - to its West Midlands-based shopping centre Touchwood. 

The Solihull centre will provide the site for the UK's first Theobroma, which will be operated under franchise by Pam and Sanj Bains, who have just returned from a four-year stay in Australia. 

Pam Bains told BigHospitality she had seen at first hand the success the brand, which uses a seven bean blend to produce its 'boutique coffee' and has franchises in Saudi Arabia, Singapore and China, had enjoyed so far and believes it could enjoy similar success here in the UK. 

"It is a really good quality offering. People have said to me, 'aren't you worried about being up against operators like Costa and Starbucks?', but I'm not at all because it is a totally different offering. It's really good quality coffee and the hot chocolate produces a really velvety chocolate. People in the UK are starting to demand a really decent cup of coffee and Theobroma provides that."

Bains, whose 1,243 sq ft café will open at Touchwood's centrally-located Map Room will open later this autumn, said the brand was also looking at opening branches under franchise in Brighton and Birmingham. 

"We would like to open in Birmingham, but I think we need to see how this one works here first," she added. 

Dining experience

Prezzo's Mexican restaurant group Chimichanga will complete Touchwood's 21-strong dining and drinking portfolio. The 3,710 sq ft restaurant will open on the centre's upper dining terrace, adjacent to Wagamama and Handmade Burger Company, later this autumn. 

Guy Thomas, head of retail leasing at Lend Lease, said: “Theobroma and Chimichanga are exciting concepts that bring something different to Touchwood’s dining experience, which is varied and of high quality.  Combined with the aspirational retail mix, Touchwood has an unrivalled day-out offer with significant regional appeal.”

Theobroma and Chimichanga join a range of brands, such as Ask Italian, Giraffe and Coast-to-Coast, at the shopping centre which also hosts a Cineworld cinema. 

Related topics: Business, Restaurants, Venues

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