Mercato Metropolitano eyes global expansion as it prepares to launch three new London sites

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Mercato Metropolitano eyes global expansion as it prepares to launch three new London sites

Related tags: Food Hall, Mercato Metropolitano

Food market Mercato Metropolitano is to open three new sites across the capital this year as part of a global £35m expansion plan.

The group, which currently operates two London markets in Elephant & Castle and Mayfair, is aiming to open a total of 10 new sites around the world by 2025, with US locations in Atlanta, Boston, Miami and New York planned alongside Berlin, Lisbon and Milan in Europe.

Longer-term, further markets are planned for secondary cities in the UK and globally.

Mercato Metropolitano expects the expansion drive to create around 2,000 new jobs.

A previously unannounced new location in Canary Wharf is set to launch in the summer alongside a site at London’s Elephant Park development that was first confirmed back in 2019​.

This will be followed in the autumn with the opening of Mercato Metropolitano Ilford, which has been billed as a rooftop urban farm and market designed to produce 60-80 tonnes of mixed vegetables a year.

The business achieved sales of almost £10m last year, despite its two London sites being closed for four months, with limited opening for a further six months due to the pandemic.

Managing director Amedeo Claris credited the success with the business’ inclusivity, sustainability and strong community roots.

Mercato Metropolitano (MM) describes itself as 'movement' of artisan and conscientious entrepreneurs, which champions nutritious, non-industrial and affordable food, from unsophisticated and sustainable produce with full traceability.

Originally founded in Milan in 2015 by Andrea Rasca, the group launched its first UK site in London's Elephant & Castle in 2016 having closed its Italian operation.

It went on to launch its second London market in Mayfair in 2019.

“Mercato Metropolitano is an urban destination and community space bringing together community events, music, workshops, cookery classes, innovative farming practices, circular economy models, and dishes from around the world," says Claris.

"We provide support to entrepreneurs and incubate start-ups to break down barriers and build a thriving economy.

"Likewise, we secure properties for our markets from landlords who truly understand the importance of business sustainability and accept to work with us in the same way as we work with our trading partners.

"Ultimately, we are developing a sustainable business model that aims to shorten the food supply chain, make quality food more affordable, and promote the importance of communal eating as a catalyst for social cohesion.”

In 2019 four million people are claimed to have gone through the doors of Mercato Metropolitano's markets in Elephant & Castle and Mayfair, which have incubated more than 100 food and drink start-ups to date.

The group's market format is designed to include a business mix that allows trading partners to recoup their initial capital investment in a relatively short period of time and remain financially sustainable.

Rather than charging rent, Mercato Metropolitano shares in the top-line sales of all trading partners.

For trading partners that are low-margin but desirable businesses for the community, Mercato Metropolitano expects a lower revenue share.

Related topics: Openings, Street Food

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