Leading independent retailer Andrew Thornton has sold his Budgens store in Belsize Park, London to The Kavanagh Group.
The Kavanagh Group owns 11 SuperValu stores in Ireland and stores in the UK. The company is operated by Noel Kavanagh Snr as chairman and Noel Kavanagh Jnr as managing director.
The sale will complete on 9 June, with the store continuing to trade as Thornton’s Budgens in the short term, before being re-branded as Kavanagh’s Budgens later in the year.
In a statement, Andrew said: “I am simultaneously delighted and sad to announce the sale of Thornton’s Budgens to The Kavanagh Group. After 14 amazing years in Belsize Park, it is time for me to move onto the next chapter of my life and to give the store and the team the chance to keep developing.
“They are very inspired by what we have done at Thornton’s Budgens and have exciting plans to keep developing the store along the same lines as we have. They are excellent retailers and I am totally confident that they will keep up (and probably improve on) our excellent standards. I am also thrilled that they have asked me to become an advisor to their business, with a focus on environmental issues and keeping up with the latest Food trends. They are fully committed to continue with our Plastic Free Journey.”
Andrew thanked the community of Belsize Park for making him feel welcome, and the staff at the store for the hard work carried out over the past 14 years.
He added that he felt The Kavanagh Group would be a good fit as new owners. “In selling the store, I also had to be sure that the new owner would be a good fit for the team on the next stage of the journey. The hurdle rate I set for both the internal and external communities was high – and I am confident that The Kavanagh Group pass both these tests with flying colours.
“This is a very challenging time to be a business leader – we are still managing the impact of Covid, while at the same time all needing to do our part in reducing our Environmental impact. In these areas, I believe The Kavanagh Group have the capabilities to rise to challenge.”
Andrew said he will be doing some advisory work for the Kavanagh Group and two UK ‘better for the environment’ start-ups as well as working on his book ‘Putting the Heart back into Business’.
Kavanagh Group managing director Noel Kavanagh Jnr said: “This is a very exciting acquisition for the Kavanagh group. A superb location in North London and a truly unique store. Under Andrew’s guidance, Budgens Belsize Park has been a market leader in sustainability and food innovation, introducing many new concepts such as the hugely successful Sushi bar. To further enhance the offering and customer experience, we are planning to invest in excess of a million pounds in early 2022. In the meantime, I look forward to welcoming all existing team members into the Kavanagh group”.